D.R.A.M., Cherub have big role to fill

Rapper and electropop group serve as Future, Lil Yachty’s replacements

ae-DRAMCherubPreview-CourtesyUniversityProgramsCouncil

As replacement performers for the UPC's Welcome Week concert, D.R.A.M. and Cherub will have weighty responsibilities.

Courtesy University Programs Council | Cavalier Daily

First years and returning students alike were likely disappointed when, just days before the concert, the University Programs Council announced that slated Welcome Week performers Future and Lil Yachty, two giants of the rap world, had cancelled their performance. One of the main alleged reasons for the cancellation was the white supremacist rallies of Aug. 11 and 12, as they made celebrities reluctant to visit Charlottesville in the immediate aftermath.

When UPC recently announced that D.R.A.M. and Cherub will be performing in the Amphitheater Friday, Sept. 15, some students were wary, fearing that it was too good to be true. But it’s not a hoax — so far, it’s still happening. And as this concert is coupled with the announcement of the massive Concert for Charlottesville, UPC and the overall community have made an impressive effort to bring Charlottesville the musical healing it needs. 

Photo: Courtesy University Programs Council

While the star-studded Concert for Charlottesville aims to unify the masses by providing music from a span of popular artists ranging from Ariana Grande to Dave Matthews Band, the D.R.A.M. and Cherub concert has a slightly less mainstream appeal. While both artists reached the public consciousness with break-out singles, they lack the career longevity and Billboard hits required to make their discography accessible to the casual listener. It is also worth noting the sonic differences between the two artists. Pairing D.R.A.M., a rapper/singer, with Cherub, an indie-electropop duo, makes for an interesting combination. This pairing enables fans and curious onlookers alike to show up and enjoy the event. 

Just last year, D.R.A.M. cut through the charts with his song “Broccoli ft. Lil Yachty.” This playful, bass-heavy track led by its bouncing keys and flute embellishments was one of the hits of summer 2016. As a follow-up to the successful single, D.R.A.M. released his debut album, “Big Baby D.R.A.M.,” a few months later to positive reviews. The Hampton, Va. native has been described by Rolling Stone as having a “lovestruck, singing-in-the-shower style — imagine a cross between Ol' Dirty B—d, Chance the Rapper and a private-press R&B record from the Seventies.” His “bent, delirious and totally intoxicating” style is the main appeal behind his music. D.R.A.M. makes happy music, and happy music is exactly what many people need during this time of socio-political unrest. It may not be anything profound or life-changing, but it is a chance to relax and have a good time.

Known mainly for their hit “Doses & Mimosas,” the electropop duo Cherub hailing from Nashville, Tenn., has been lurking around the music scene since 2010. According to Consequence of Sound, “Cherub have continued to cultivate a sound that is equal parts retro-funk and electropop.” Cherub’s lyrical content is best characterized as being light and dwelling in a realm devoid of responsibility, perhaps providing the students of the University with a much-needed couple hours of escapism as, alongside political unrest, midterm season rears its head.

With the nation’s socio-political and economic divide prevalent in Charlottesville, a mirthful and apolitical show may not be what the student body wants and needs from the art world However, one should never underestimate the power of levity. The University and Charlottesville in general have become an epicenter for turmoil. With both sides of the nation charged and ready to voice their opinions, the University community has become a reflection of the greater struggle the nation is currently facing. In lieu of this reality, concert goers can find solace in the fact that attending events that encourage community and enjoyment helps in its own way to create a positive environment for our society.

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