January 8, 2019
Tune-In Tuesdays #1: Kweku Collins Rocks the Stage at the Fillmore Philadelphia
The Kweku Collins’ Concert Ticket glued into my 2018 scrapbookSource: The Burgundy Zine
Welcome to the first ever installment of Tune-In Tuesdays! This week, I will be publishing a college-essay I had turned in on a Kweku Collins’ concert I had attended in Nov. 2018.
Kweku Collins Rocks the Stage at the Fillmore Philadelphia
Chicago rapper Kweku Collins rocked the stage at the Fillmore Philadelphia on the evening of November 2nd, 2018. His setlist dabbled in songs across all three of his studio albums, including but not limited to: December 25th, Stupid Rose, and the Outsiders.
Fresh out of high school, Collins released his EP Say it Here While it’s Safe, which earned a spot on Pigeons and Planes 20 Under 20: Teenage Rappers you Should Know in 2015, according to the biography on his website. His work as well as his performance draws inspiration from a wide array of styles. Although he describes his sound as a cross-pollination between psychedelic, alternative, hip-hop, and reggae, I personally would classify his music as a newer-age subgenre known as “chill-hop” with a blend of tropical themes.
Collins had two opening acts, Kev Rogers and Joseph Chilliams, who’s musical style are complementary to his. Rogers is known for his co-production of Jaden Smith’s hit single ICON. Chilliams is an up-and-coming fellow Chicago rapper most notable for his pleasantly flamboyant, comedic, and “chill” (true to his name) stage presence. Rogers’ performance was a more aggressive and traditional style of hip-hop, while Chilliams setlist included a laid-back ballad of songs parodying pop-culture staples such as Mean Girls.
December 25th kicked off Collins’ hour-long performance, as he emerged onto the stage shouting the song’s somewhat obscure lyric that could be interpreted as a nod towards his humble financial status, Sweet potato in the styrofoam! This entranced prompted giggles from the audience. On stage with him were a keyboardist, guitarist, and drummer. While the instrumentals and lyrics stayed relatively true to the official version of the song, Collins put extra emphasis on his go-to ad-libs, “ya” and “you”.
Towards the end of his setlist, Collins performed Stupid Rose after relaying a personal anecdote, providing a backstory for the song. Stupid Rose details the puppy-love trials of teenager flames toying with each other in a game of cat and mouse. Perhaps I am biased, as my partner and I have referred to Stupid Rose as “our song” for over a year, but I would argue that this was the highlight of the night. Collins genuinely put his heart into bringing the tune to life through his mannerisms, choreography, and vocal abilities. While singing and dancing my heart out in the audience, my partner and I swear Collins shot us a wink.
Stupid Rose by Kweku Collins on SoundcloudSource: Stupid Rose | Kweku Collins (SoundCloud)
The performance drew to a close with Collins’ ballad, the Outsiders, which evoked an emotional response from the audience. The lyrics as well as the heartfelt string instruments sprinkled throughout the beat could not have been a better way to wrap up the entire night.
Following the opening acts Kev Rogers and Joseph Chilliams, Chicago rapper Kweku Collins took the stage at the Fillmore Philadelphia on the evening of November 2nd, 2018. Collins kicked off the show with December 25th, a song from his latest album Grey. Collins performed hits from across all of his studio albums, including Stupid Rose, and concluded with the emotional ballad the Outsiders. The “tropical” “chill-hop” artist brought each song to life through his vocal abilities and down-to-earth stage presence. Personally, I am looking forward to his next show in Philadelphia – whenever that may be – as I reveled in every minute of this concert.
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