Roosevelt Franklin refreshes hip-hop

Small crowd, new sound at the Ottobar

In a time when hip-hop seems to be either club anthems or underground kids talking in pseudo-scientific next-level jargon, a project comes out of the woodwork to just flat-out have a good time. Roosevelt Franklin, made up of Kimani from The Masterminds and Mr. Len of Company Flow, piece together an album addressing relationships and politics, but mostly the need to bring hip-hop back to being fun. Roosevelt Franklin's debut, "Something's Gotta Give," features such solid artists as Jean Grae, Slug, Murs and Science Fiction.

Although the number of attendees (15) at the Ottobar last Wednesday indicates that the concert might have been a private show for a few lucky individuals, it was more like a poor turnout. Roosevelt Franklin, named after the only black character on Sesame Street, did not play for very long, but the members still seemed to have a good time on stage. They performed many tracks on the album, including the hardcore rock track "Kurt Loder," of which the lyrics claim, "Mother f----- Kurt Loder stole my wallet at a Citibank ATM."

After the show, The Eagle asked Kimani, the only person at the bar, why he had deep-seated anger toward Kurt Loder?

"Well, I was walking by my Citibank ATM one day and I needed some loot so I went up to get some cash and ... basically Kurt Loder was the most random person I could think of," Kimani replied.

Mr. Len concluded the evening with a tribute set to Company Flow. When asked about the poor turnout, he said, "Usually people don't find out about the show until tomorrow." Well tomorrow might be too late to catch a passionate banter about an MTV news anchorman, but it's not too late to catch what is in store for the next month regarding hip-hop events.

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