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milo performs rap at Gardner

milo interacted with the audience through speech as well as music to make the most of the intimate space. Artwork by Steven Duong.

By Mayo Sueta

Last Friday, April 20, Rory Ferreira, also known as milo, performed at Gardner Lounge.

milo is a 24 year-old rapper currently based in Portland, Maine. He has also lived in Chicago, Los Angeles and Milwaukee, and has multiple alter egos, including Scallops Hotel, under which he released two of his albums.

According to a 2017 article from Rolling Stone, he has a significant online following, and “his projects, which he often releases as limited-edition cassette tapes via his Ruby Yacht imprint, regularly trade for hundreds of dollars online.”

He has released five albums: “A Toothpaste Suburb” in 2014, “Plain Speaking” and “So the Flies Don’t Come” in 2015, “Too Much of Life is Mood” in 2016 and “Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?!” in 2017 — as well as multiple mixtapes, EPs and singles.

His albums have received positive ratings by Pitchfork and have gained him loyal fans. Pitchfork calls his debut album “refreshing,” and “So the Flies Don’t Come” is described as being “his most fascinating work to date, filling weird, side-winding productions that deflate and wheeze with tumbling lyricism delivered in near spoken word cadences.” In his latest album “Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?!,” milo “crafts richly layered rap songs using outmoded tools like sample-based beats, dense wordplay and unapologetically nerdy references.”

Luke Jarzyna ’18, Chair of Grinnell Concerts, was happy to see milo come to Grinnell and spent some time showing him around the town.

“I was so glad milo could make the show. … It was really special that he made the trip out to Iowa,” Jarzyna wrote in an email to The S&B. “We had some down time, so we played Mario Kart Double Dash at my house and then I took him to Peace Tree. It was fun to show him around town. He’s also really good at Mario Kart.”

During the concert, milo took advantage of the closeness to the audience and interacted with the crowd through speech as well as music.

“In Gardner, there’s not much distance between the performers and the concert attendees. It’s common for performers to interact with people at the concert when they feel so moved,” Jarzyna wrote. “milo didn’t deliver a Kanye West level onstage rant. But, he just kept asking questions and talking in a slow monotone. It was funny, awkward and showed off his personality. I think Rory (milo) may have felt weird about playing a hip/hop show in a basement in rural Iowa, so maybe talking to people helped him ease into the space.”

Rapper Marco Saffold ’20 opened for Milo, and many students came out to support their peer. In addition to being  a musician, Saffold is a multi-talented artist and leader of ANACHA, a student art collective on campus.

milo interacted with the audience through speech as well as music to make the most of the intimate space. Artwork by Steven Duong.
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