A Note From the LSE Committee

The rapper Big Boi, formerly of OutKast, will play LSE this year. (Image courtesy of trendland.com)
The rapper Big Boi, formerly of OutKast, will play LSE this year. (Image courtesy of trendland.com)

If you’re pressed for time, here’s the summary. I’m pleased to announce that Big Boi will headline this year’s Large Scale Event on April 6th in the Lamb Miller Fieldhouse. Opening for the Grammy-winning hip hop artist will be the New York natives, EMEFE. We’re hoping that the pairing of these two acts in this year’s show provides a balance between an incredible live music experience with a famous artist and a seamless blend of hip hop, rock, and funk. End of summary: I genuinely hope you share my excitement.

I’ve been involved in the LSE Committee for several years now, and never before have I seen such a successful campaign pulled together in this short of time. While literally working since June to book this show, the committee was hit with blow after blow after blow by some ethereal higher being, who, for the sake of this article, we will call the Supreme Fascist (see the wikipedia page on mathematician Paul Erdös). Now, whenever progress would be made with plans for LSE–whether it be with an artist, a venue, a date, you name it–this Supreme Fascist would ball up all of that intangible progress in his callous hands and gently pet that misty, airy ball until, “Oh I’m sorry, you wanted those plans?” The Supreme Fascist’s hands are stained with the blood of good ideas (I’m getting some weird Of Mice and Men imagery here).

But those days are over. The Supreme Fascist, it turns out, has a soft spot for peppy, dedicated, hardworking Swarthmore College employees. That’s right; Rachel Head, Dean of Housing, Being-a-Boss, and other Wizarding Affairs, saved the day. She, along with Satya Nelms and many others in the Dean’s Office, as well as Susan Smythe from Facilities & Services, stepped into what looked like a possible cancellation of LSE 2013 and turned the whole thing around. Because once LSE gets cancelled, who’s to stop the Supreme Fascist from cancelling Christmas? Or summer vacation? Or Game of Thrones Season 3 (Gods be good…forget LSE, that show comes out in 2 weeks…)? Long story short, if it weren’t for the dogged determination and incredible organizational skills of the staff from Dean’s Office, the President’s Office, the Athletics Department, and Facilities & Services, it’s safe to say that this school and most of eastern Pennsylvania would have burned down (angry sophomores who got placed into Strath Haven and a cancelled LSE? I don’t even…).

One final order of business is an apology. I had personally kept pushing the idea that the student body would vote on the opener of LSE this year, but clearly this didn’t happen. Though I hope that students involved in LSE in the future will continue to try to incorporate student voting in the planning process, this became impossible this year. There simply was not enough money for the kind of opener that would generate massive appeal to the voting students. But out of this budgeting problem, we were able to book EMEFE, an incredibly talented band that has a substantial student following here at Swarthmore. Expect more information about the band as we get closer to the show. And expect these guys to make it big in the music scene very soon.

Okay, I’m done. Thanks for the patience, frustration, suggestions, and help that you all have had this year in planning this show. A campus-wide email will be sent out soon with information about ticketing. We are excited to deliver a terrific Worthstock to you, and again, if you have anything to say to the LSE Committee in the form of complaints, comments, or suggestions for Worthstock, send them to swarthmorelse@gmail.com. Worthstock will be on May 5th in Paces. I mean, Worth Courtyard.

And now, here’s stuff I didn’t write (courtesy of Big Boi and The Redding Group):

A 20-year career as a Hip Hop artist is rare. A 20-year career as a Hip Hop artist who gets better with every album is unheard of. But in the case of Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, it’s no surprise.

As one half of Outkast with his partner in rhyme Andre 3000, Big Boi blazed trails and broke blueprints with three certified classics; 1994’s Southerplayalisticadilacmuzik, 1996’s ATLiens and 1998’s Aquemini. The duo then brought in the new millenium by selling four million copies of their genre-defying fourth studio album Stankonia only to follow it up with the diamond-selling opus Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.

 Now, nearly a decade later Big Boi continues to break ground on his own with his second solo album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. The follow up to 2010’s critically-acclaimed  Luscious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty, Vicious Lies… seeks to bring the truth in an era where anything but is accepted as the real.

“I borrowed the title from my Grandmother who passed away,” explains Big. “She beat cancer twice and the family said she needed to make a movie about her life. She said she would write a book instead and call it Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors because she was going to tell it how it is. So to me the title is a search for the undisputed truth. We’re living in the information age with everything at your fingertips. But at same time, with social media you can take something and it will spread whether if it’s true or not.”

Describing the album as “one-half Outkast, one whole of me,” Big Boi takes sole possession of the wheel behind the Cadillac that is the Outkast legacy and cruises into unchartered territory with his thirst to expand the rules of music serving as the navigation.

The rap veteran known as General Patton shows off his rank on the lyrical exercise “The Thickets” and later leads the charge on “In the A” featuring fellow Atlanta troops T.I. and Ludacris. Futuristic funk is explored on the digital jams “Objectum Sexuality” and “CPU,” both featuring indie pop duo Phantogram. Then Big opens up the soul basket and talks about the gain and pain of relationships on “She Hates Me” featuring Kid Cudi.

Even while being established with six Grammy Awards and 25 million records sold worldwide Big Boi proves that he can still spar with the new jacks when he recruits A$AP Rocky for the Organized Noize-produced “Lines” and sprint with the current stars on the adrenaline-pumping “Shoes For Running” featuring B.o.B. Also a master of melody, Big displays his “funk throat” on the playful “Raspberries” featuring long time collaborator Scar and bounces over in-house producers The Flush’s pulsating pianos on the lead single “Mama Told Me” featuring Kelly Rowland.

 “I’m a student of music, I always looked at myself as a young Luke Skywalker,” says Big, insisting that none of the special appearances or production came from phone calls but from serendipity and surprise visits. “I always want to learn about the music and use all different genres. I don’t even look at the cameos on the album as multiple features. I see them all as pieces that go together.”

Keeping the Outkast artistic tradition alive, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors’ album art is presented as a pocket-sized art gallery with customized paintings to accompany each track. The Rolling Stone-esque logo with the clinched teeth featured on the CD represents how in these times you have to be careful about what you say. Big has made a name for himself being selective with his words, which is why each one he says to this day means something special.

“Today’s trend is that you come in, get hot and disappear,” says the living legend. “You’re not supposed to come out, get hot, do the biggest album ever and then keep cruising to where it’s undeniable. If you don’t like this album, you don’t like music.”

Written by Brennan Klein ’14, LSE Committee Chair

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