The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

New Age Narcissism coming to Gardner

By Kelly Page

The rap collective New Age Narcissism may abbreviate their name to NAN, but this is definitely not your nan’s music. This Friday, Feb. 2, make sure you head to Gardner Lounge for a showcase of the Milwaukee-based music collective. Doors will open at 9 p.m. and the show will begin at 9:30. There are a total of six artists from the collective who will be performing at Grinnell for an exciting performance of new music from a city which is not normally associated with hip-hop but, as NAN shows, has a lot to offer.

“We could headline our first show of 2018 with any single one of the artists on this lineup. Having them all here, together, is so stunning. DO NOT MISS this massive show,” reads the Facebook event for the concert.

New Age Narcissism formed their musical family in early 2015, and have been collaborating on music ever since. Group member WebsterX said in an article in Milwaukee Magazine that he thinks of NAN as being like a body, saying “Each of us has our own role, but the outcome is the result of us all working together.” In the same article, singer and NAN member Siren said “We all thrive in a live setting. We never want our audience to be able to predict what’s going to come next.” Videos of their performances show a group that shifts from hip-hop to Siren’s loud witchy guitar-backed vocals to group chanting in a matter of minutes.

The members of NAN who will play at Grinnell this weekend each have impressive and diverse solo projects. WebsterX is a rapper whose melodic and hopeful hip-hop lays out a future for Milwaukee outlined with positivity. Lorde Fredd33 describes himself on his Facebook page as a “Songwriter, Mantra Constructer/Conductor” and “Stage Stomping Shit Talker.” His song “Playing Possum” has a fuzzy dissonant piano beat, which recalls old school hip-hop but the vocals sound trap-influenced and distinctively modern. Lex Allen is a queer rapper who headlined Milwaukee Pride. On his infectious poppy track “Venus and Serena,” he repeats “I’m a do like Venus and Serena and serve,” an empowering anthem for anyone asserting themselves.

Also playing on Friday is witchy singer-songwriter Siren, whose soundcloud description says just “murderer.” On her recent release “Priestess,” she sings over a dark menacing and electronic track, “I am the priestess, get on your knees and pray to this.” Additionally, the concert will feature Q the Sun, who describes his sound as “Psychedelia in the Post-Trap Era” on Facebook, and Christopher Gilbert, who has previously toured with Yo Gabba Gabba.

Overall, this Friday will be a night of entertaining and engaging performances by a musical collective that shows a wide range of styles and high level of talent, from a Wisconsin city that shows that just because they’re cheeseheads doesn’t mean they can’t sing.

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