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Commentary: Common, J. Cole, Childish Gambino highlight rap-heavy OUAB Sping Quarter lineup

Courtesy of NBC

The Ohio Union Activities Board Spring Quarter lineup has a noticeable presence from one particular genre: hip-hop.

Common, J. Cole and Childish Gambino are all scheduled to perform in OUAB-sponsored events this quarter.

Common, who is scheduled to perform at 6:30 p.m. April 2 in the Ohio Union’s Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom, is arguably the most talented act of the three. Though his last album, “The Dreamer/The Believer,” which was released in December, only received mediocre reviews at best, he was able to keep the public’s interest by engaging in a beef with Drake.

While the beef was pretty pathetic overall, despite Common calling Drake “Canada dry,” I would love to hear his take on it. Though the quarrel has been relatively quelled, I’d like to know how much of it was for publicity purposes and how much of it was legit. Common is one of my favorite rappers and Drake is one of my least favorite.

It’s unclear whether Common will actually perform any music. It would be a disappointment if he didn’t. Common’s 2005 album, “Be,” released under the guidance of Kanye West and his GOOD Music label, was one of the best albums of the decade. While “The Dreamer/The Believer” was a disappointment, the rest of his library is impressive enough to merit attendance.

J. Cole is an up-and-coming superstar. His debut studio album, “Cole World: The Sideline Story,” was well-reviewed and even more well-received by the populace, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

He is scheduled to perform with Big K.R.I.T. at 8 p.m. April 30 in the Ohio Union’s Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom as part of his Campus Consciousness Tour.

J. Cole is one of the truly talented mainstream rappers. It showed during this year’s Grammy Awards, where he was nominated for Best New Artist, but lost to Bon Iver. There’s something to be said for popular artists who also create genuinely good music, and J. Cole is one of those artists. Apparently Jay-Z agrees, as he signed J. Cole to his label, Roc Nation.

Childish Gambino is an interesting choice, for lack of a better word. Led by “Community” star Donald Glover, Childish Gambino is Glover’s rap project. He is scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. May 7 at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion as part of his Camp Tour.

Bringing Childish Gambino to campus might be a bit of a gamble, just because he’s not exactly proven as a mainstream juggernaut, but Glover does have the power of name-recognition with die-hard “Community” fans.

OUAB’s Spring Quarter lineup is a bit more impressive than those of year’s past – hosting Lupe Fiasco last year was one of the group’s biggest triumphs in my years here. I can see some students finding it somewhat alienating as it’s a bit hip-hop-heavy, but then again, hip-hop is a genre with a lot of young fans, even if Common might be a tad older than many of today’s biggest rap names.

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