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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

Rites of Spring 2019 Voting Guide

Claire Barnett
DNCE performs at Rites of Spring 2018 on Alumni Lawn on Friday, April 20, 2018. (Photo by Claire Barnett)

The annual Rites of Spring survey went out Sunday, Nov. 12 to all student via email. The survey contains numerous artists for students to vote on to express who they want to see at the next festival. Seeing such a huge list of names from diverse styles of music can be daunting, so we created a quick guide to give some background on the artists and songs to start with if you are unfamiliar with them.

Group 1

Mura Masa– This producer has collaborated with the likes of A$AP Rocky and Charli XCX, creating a blend of house, electro and trap that subverts norms while still being instantly likeable. His most recent singles since 2017’s self-titled album only show him growing and refining himself into one of electronic music’s biggest stars.

Cage the Elephant– One of rock’s biggest names, Cage made waves with their hit “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked,” but quickly followed this fame with several quality albums, gaining them a huge following and headlining spots at festivals.

Juice WRLD– One of Soundcloud rap’s fastest rising stars at the moment, Juice WRLD takes the Auto-Tuned trap-rap of Lil Uzi Vert and doubles down on the emo-pop tendencies, creating a sound equal parts Future (with whom he has a collaborative album) and Fall Out Boy.

LANY– Lany make dramatic pop music that demands you sing along. They blend electronic elements with more traditional pop songwriting into something that is festival-ready.

Lil Yachty– This bubbly, red-haired Auto-Tune rapper/singer has had a number of releases over the years, breaking onto the scene with 2016’s Lil Boat mixtape and flooding the market with several tapes and albums in the years following. While none of his releases have lived up to the promise of his first big tape, he’s had a number of worthwhile hits and popular features, most notably on DRAM’s “Broccoli” and Kyle’s “iSpy.”

Milky Chance– A group from Germany that blends pop, folk, alternative and a number of styles together, Milky Chance took the radio by storm in 2013 with their single “Stolen Dance.” Since then they have had a rather steady output, keeping fans satisfied with catchy and laid back singles and an album last year.

Moon Taxi– Based out of Nashville, this alt-rock band has been at it for over a decade but are only recently finding commercial success with their single “Two High.” They’ve since signed with RCA records and are slated to release an album soon.

San Holo– San Holo has been making electronic music for around five years now, but found mainstream success only recently with 2017’s “Light.” He released his first proper album this year and has found a number of spots on the festival circuit, indicating big things to come.

2 Chainz– A rapper who needs no introduction, 2 Chainz has long established himself as a witty rapper who enjoys the finer things in life (he even has a show with Vice called Most Expensivest). His last album and EP demonstrated a more introspective and serious side while still having plenty of drug references and gut-busting punch lines he came up with.

X Ambassadors– A rock/pop crossover sensation, X Ambassadors blew up with “Renegades” and followed that success with “Unsteady.” Their music is anthemic and accessible and sure to be a crowd pleaser.


Group 2

Akon– The most nostalgia-evoking artist on the ballot, Akon was inescapable in our elementary and middle school years. Songs like “Right Now (Na Na Na)” and “Don’t Matter” defined dances in school gyms and dominated the radio. I will personally bring back my shutter shades and Hollister shirts for this if he is selected.

Big Boi– Originally one-half of the legendary duo Outkast, Big Boi has released a number of solo projects, constantly shifting to match the ever-changing Atlanta rap scene. His pen is still as sharp as ever and he continues to remind listeners of why we fell in love with him in the first place.

Kali Uchis– Kali Uchis first found fame through features on Tyler, the Creator’s albums, providing smooth R&B vocals for hooks on songs like “See You Again.” However, her 2018 debut — Isolation — shows a mature, confident artist who can easily stand on her own, blending R&B, jazz, soul and pop into a mixture that is as refined as it is accessible.

Denzel Curry– Easily one of the most talented rappers out right now, Curry made his name with his aggressive flows over equally aggressive beats. This year’s TA13OO album, though, proved that he has the versatility to stay interesting, while songs like “VENGEANCE” demonstrate him expanding on his louder, trap-rap leanings.

Doja Cat– Doja Cat has made her name with the hilarious “Mooo!”, a meme-rap tune coupled with a video of her in a cow suit with fries in her nose. I can’t speak to the quality of her other tracks but it would certainly make for an amusing show.

Electric Guest– This Los Angeles duo creates electronic pop and rock music that grabs you with sharp hooks and refuses to let go. Songs like “Oh Devil” will have you humming the hook before the song is over and will stay in your head for days. (Proof: My sophomore year roommate played this song so much on the Amazon Echo Dot that was hooked up to my Spotify that it became my most played song of the year).

Cherub– Famous for their hit “Doses and Mimosas,” a song marked by a a driving house beat, infectious hook and gorgeous falsetto verses that was seemingly ubiquitous a few years ago, Cherub originate in Nashville who have returned from a two year hiatus this year with a slew of new singles.

Thundercat– Thundercat is an incredibly talented bassist with a spacey, soulful voice and a knack for quirky songwriting; his songs often mention broken relationships and Mortal Kombat in the same breath. His solo discography alone is impressive, but he also has credits with Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington, Flying Lotus and Suicidal Tendencies to name a few.

Travis Porter– A hip-hop trio who found success at the beginning of this decade, Travis Porter have a hooky, danceable take on the Atlanta sound that was immediately radio-ready at the time. They have been less active in recent years but earlier hits are instantly recognizable and sure to get a crowd moving.

Sheck Wes– If you have been to a frat tailgate this year, you heard “Mo Bamba.” This song — like the rest of Sheck’s discography — forgoes lyrical prowess for catchiness and visceral reaction, creating a sound that’s gritty, aggressive and catchy all at once.

Bryce Vine– A fairly new face to most, Vine originally signed in 2012 but has yet to release an album. His EP’s and singles, though, are filled with a poppy blend of R&B and rap not unlike early Drake.

Moses Sumney– Sumney’s voice envelopes and entrances you, as shown on last year’s Aromanticism. His production is largely mellow and hypnotic, at times jazzy, never really moving you to dance or jump but more to sway and think, certainly not to his detriment, though. Songs like “Rank & File” demonstrate a thoughtful, political side, while songs like “Don’t Bother Calling” explore love and relationships.

Saba– Saba came up in the same circle as Vic Mensa, Noname, and — most notably — Chance the Rapper. He has not seen the same level as fame, though, despite several releases and verses demonstrating clever and introspective songwriting.

HONNE–  This electronic music duo sounds like a mix of Quinn XCII and Kaytranada, delivering beats that range from funky to straight-forward house to string-laden melancholy.

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About the Contributors
Dallas Shatel, Former Deputy Editor in Chief
Dallas Shatel (’19) was the Deputy Editor in Chief of The Vanderbilt Hustler. He previously served as a writer for the Arts and Culture Section. He majored in electrical engineering. He is a bass player and an obsessive music fan.
Claire Barnett, Former Multimedia Director

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Deborah Sawyer
4 years ago

If you haven’t done your research to comment on Doja Cats body of work with any knowledge or authority you are not doing your job…