Twilight Concert Series: Vince Staples

The Salt Lake Arts Council Presents

Twilight Concert Series: Vince Staples

Leikeli47, Concise Kilgore

Thursday, August 8, 2019

6:00 pm

Gallivan Center

$10 ADV / $15 DOS

Vince Staples
Vince Staples
Recording artist Vince Staples has come a long way from his trying upbringing in Long Beach, California’s Ramona Park neighborhood. Releasing his critically acclaimed debut Summertime ’06 album in 2015, the then twenty-year-old saw his life turned right side up, going from being nearly trapped to having what appeared to be complete freedom.

Yet, as his most recent projects suggest, appearances can be deceiving. The LPs delves into the confusion of sudden fame and acclimating to a lifestyle antithetical to the one he’d known in Long Beach – one wrought with gang violence and poverty. It’s a fundamental narrative in hip hop, but rappers have always found a new way to breathe life into it. Staples brings forth a vision that’s brutal, elegant, playful, and despondent in one breath.

Such is the nature of his music, as self and socially aware as it is comical. With FM!, Big Fish Theory, Prima Donna and Summertime ’06 behind him, Staples has set the tone for what’s yet to come. A standout rapper in today’s hip hop world, he keeps his sound deeply tied to his west coast roots and his message one that knows no boundaries.

In a world of full of painful departures, his art gives listeners reason to believe that, somehow, as he advances, the people who have left him and the people who he's left behind will still be waiting for him at the end.
Leikeli47
Leikeli47
Even if you've followed the meteoric rise of musican and producer Leikeli47 thus far, you're not prepared for where she's going to take you next. Her second album Acrylic is brash, bold, and as gleefully tough as the material the album takes its name from. "We have this saying that when you smell acrylic, you know just where you are," she explains while discussing what the album title means to her. "Acrylic is a hard substance and I feel this is one of my harder records to date. It speaks to how hard times don’t break you, they make you.”

The road to Acrylic has been eventful for Leikeli47, who's profile had been on the rise with several appearances on HBO's Insecure sountrack, an appearance with Lion Babe at Coachella, and having her inaugural ArfroPunk performance. Leikeli47 continued to elevate her profile in 2018 after the release of Acrylic, being named to NPR’s 50 Best Albums of 2018, Paper’s 20 Best Albums of 2018 , Esquire’s 50 Best rap songs of 2018 and entries in the EOY lists of Complex, Forbes and Brooklyn Vegan among others. “There's been so many new opportunities," she reminisces. "It's been a really cool time, and I'm still taking it in. I've been in the studio discovering new sounds. Creatively, it's been a fun ride."

The second album in a planned trilogy kicked off by Wash & Set, Acrylic was recorded over the last year in Los Angeles — a casual creative process meant to let ideas flourish naturally. "As an artist, you want to go in and add new conversations and ideas,” Leikeli47 explains. “Most of these ideas started in my apartment, or just from walking down the street. Great things happen when you live in the moment."

Indeed, Acrylic is brimming with a variety of melodic moods, from the brittle bounce of the title track to the brassy swing of "Hoyt and Schermerhorn." The vibe is big in every sense, a deliberate choice to expand Leikeli47's world of sound and showcase her true ambition. "I remember starting off as a producer, really jumping in and taking a chance with my sound—it was minimal, but it still had the boom to it," she states while discussing the progression that Acrylic represents. "There's been so much growth, sonically and lyrically, since. The sounds are bigger, the lyrics are more brash. It’s been a really ill creative learning process.”

Co-producers ranging from Clyde & Harry (Ludacris, Ghostface Killah) to Dave Hamelin (The Belle Game, Sam Roberts Band) pitched in during the creative process, as well as Michael Barney (One of Leikeli’s right hands and production partner) and Hardcover CEO and frequent collaborator Harold Lilly (Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Zayn Malik), who also happens to be Leikeli47's cousin. "He's one of the main people I look to when it comes to being an artist," she gushes. " He’s a true drill sergeant, but I’m used to it. He requires nothing less than great and above. His motto is “Chop wood, carry water,” like the Joshua Medcalf book. The people around you should want the best for you and he definitely does. He and Michael made sure I stayed on point during the recording process. "

There's nothing but laser-guided focus on Acrylic, a true representation of the breadth of Leikeli47's talent. "Full Set (A New Style)" pulses with flashy ballroom samples and Leikeli47's up-front cadence, while "Roll Call" is a boisterous and flat-out fun tribute to HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). "It highlights the black college experience," she explains. " One love to all of the higher learning institutions but there’s just a special line of love I have for my Historically Black Institutions. Getting your education is bomb no matter where you decide to go but it was very fun to get in and create art around a culture that’s not often celebrated. I get to show people how we get down and that’s a beautiful thing.”

And that's the overriding message behind Acrylic: come together and have some fun, regardless of who you are. I'm all about letting people in — I love putting my message in music," Leikeli47 explains when talking about her artistic mission statement. "It's a great way to engage people and get them talking to each other. A lot of the time we don't know how our worlds relate because we barely talk to each other. We take stuff too seriously—it's time to have fun and be part of a melting pot of individuals." Leikeli47 wants to bring the world together as one, and through Acrylic, her message as infectious as ever.
Concise Kilgore
Concise Kilgore
Venue Information:
Gallivan Center
239 Main St
Salt Lake City, UT, 84111
http://www.thegallivancenter.com/