Beatnuts give MC some rhythm

More than 600 students from area universities along with D.C. residents piled into the Marvin Center Grand Ballroom Saturday night to hear a live performance from the Beatnuts, an alternative hip-hop group.

Flying in from their home in Austin, Texas, the Beatnuts riled up the crowd of fans with such popular songs as “Yo yo yo,” “It’s da Nuts,” and “Prendelo,” from their “Take It or Squeeze It” album as well as new songs from their recent release “The Originators.”

The hip-hop groups Critically Acclaimed and Educated Consumers opened the concert, leading into a one-hour performance by the Beatnuts sponsored by the Program Board and WRGW.

“(The Beatnuts have) original beats and a fresh flavor,” said freshman Anthony Moniello. “It’s nice to hear underground music instead of mainstream (music).”

Students said they were thrilled to take advantage of the $8 ticket cost to see such an acclaimed group in concert.

Junior Mollie Straff called the concert “one of the better things the Program Board has done.”

“(It was a) smaller scale, inexpensive, good draw (that I would) like to see happen more often at GW,” she said.

PB worked with WRGW to sponsor and promote the event. Flyers were posted around American, Catholic, and Georgetown universities, though some GW students said they felt the event was not well-publicized.

PB leaders said Saturday’s event was one of the first times WRGW and PB coordinated an event and every program has a “learning curve.”

“There are always more things you could do and do differently,” said Josh Bhatti, director of concerts for Program Board. “(It is a matter of) not having as many resources.”

Performing in front of a white screen illuminated with red, orange, green and yellow lights, the Beatnuts got the crowd moving with their unique beats.

Rappers Psycho Les and Junkyard Ju Ju met and formed the group in the early 1980s and began performing in New York City.

The duo eventually caught the attention of the Jungle Brothers, who gave them a contract for production work. The Beatnuts’ released their debut album, Intoxicated Demons EP in 1993.

The Beatnuts’ underground street hip-hop, as opposed to subject matter rap, has won praise in recent years. Fans also enjoy the group’s attempts to produce “real” hip-hop.

WRGW Station Manager Brett Kaplan said the event was a “good fit with a big following.”

“(It was a) perfect act for the Grand Ballroom,” he said.

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