SleepWalker Freshman 2020

By Amari Newman & Quentin Zimbalist

We are SleepWalker Entertainment. Starting off as a radio show on Oberlin College’s WOBC 91.5fm in 2018 dedicated to highlighting underground Hip-Hop and the community that surrounds it, we have expanded into the journalistic side of music, publishing various reviews, lists, and articles related to music. These have ranged from album of the year lists to interviews with different musicians who have performed at Oberlin including Suzi Analogue, VRITRA, Ethereal, NappyNappa, and SIR E.U. Right around this time last year we published our very first “Freshman List,” built off of XXL magazine’s idea of  highlighting artists relatively new to the rap game who gained a lot of attention in the most recent year. Seeing how XXL’s list seemed to increasingly lose touch with the current wave of genuine Hip-Hop, SleepWalker looked to create our own list of new(ish) artists who we believe are making important impacts on the direction of the genre. The following list will highlight the breakthrough rappers, producers and visual artists of this past year, who we believe people are listening to and want to experience.  

Rappers: Pop Smoke (RIP), Baby Smoove, Hook, Baby Fifty, Babyxsosa, Camden Malik, BKTHERULA

Producers: Evil Giane, Adé Hakim, Axl Beats, JWords, Hi-C, DamnJonBoi, GAWD  

Visual Artists: Nitetive Visuals,  Revenxnt, DVD CITY, The Realest Photographer Ever, Brick Productions, 1Drince, She Skin

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Scam Rap Has Put Detroit Back on the Map

By Jason Kreloff

Have you ever wanted to know how to make quick and easy cash on your computer or mobile device? Well look no further — Detroit’s array of scam rappers have got you covered. 

Since they emerged out of Motor City obscurity, rap artists such as Teejayx6, 10kkev, and Kasher Quon have been seamlessly integrating genre-pushing musical experimentation with get rich quick schemes, creating a whole new lane of hip-hop known as scam rap. In a typical song, you might find instructions or “methods” encoded in the lyrics. Methods can range from simple card cracking to full-on dark web scams.

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Tiny Ref Desk Concerts bring good vibes to Conservatory Library

By Megan McLaughlin

Name a venue that regularly presents performances by jazz trios, early music choirs, flute ensembles, acapella groups, and other seemingly random and disparate musical acts. An unexpected venue that might not have made your list for such an assortment of offerings is the Oberlin Conservatory Library. “The more outside of the box, the more fun it becomes,” Reference Librarian Kathy Abromeit said during a Zoom interview about the monthly Tiny Ref Desk concert series.

Inspired by National Public Radio’s popular Tiny Desk Concerts, the Conservatory Library series is outside the norm of what one typically might expect from their everyday library experience. In October of 2018, the Library began hosting twenty-minute noontime concerts performed by a variety of groups — the first was a jazz ensemble — as a way to promote student library workers, give instrumental studios a new venue at which to perform, and change the relationship patrons feel toward the space.

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Desert Island Discs


As an in-class writing assignment, we gave students 15 minutes to answer the question, “What three CDs would you want to have with you on the proverbial desert island?”

Lilyanna D’Amato 

WonderI would do terribly on a desert island. I’d be a nervous wreck — for sure the first to go in a Lost situation. I’d get all weepy and scared but, to give myself some credit, I think I would also become imaginatively retrospective. I’d spend my days on the lonely beach looking back at old memories, watching them in my mind. I’d stave off insanity by reminding myself of who I have been at different points of my life, holding on to selfhood as a means of survival, parsing together broken images of car rides and concerts and thanksgivings and parties and tears and laughs and all that comes with growing up. Continue reading “Desert Island Discs”

A Zoom Call With Auto-Lola

By Amari Newman

On April 17th, I conducted an interview with aspiring Hip-Hop and Experimental artist Auto-Lola. This was the inaugural installment of a weekly series of Zoom interviews that SleepWalker Radio, a show on Oberlin College’s WOBC-FM radio station, will be conducting over the next month. We were also joined by fellow SleepWalker members/affiliates Musa, Quentin, and Sara.

I Zoomed into our meeting room and encountered a smiling Auto eager to discuss. This was the first time either of us had done a virtual interview, and this had been planned since January. The interview was originally scheduled for Mid-March to follow his performance at Oberlin’s Dionysus Disco. Unfortunately, two days before his Friday night show, the College announced that all large gatherings would be canceled and students would have to leave campus by the end of the weekend due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

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