There is only one month left of the spring semester, and the stress is in the air! Studying students have been flooding Dupré Library, heavy booksacks and stress weighing their shoulders and hope lifting their hearts of passing their hardest courses. Amidst all the recent problems of school life, heavy rain and tornado warnings this week, this semester was met with a good problem. On April 7, hip-hop and R&B collective, Good Problems, put on a free concert at the Blue Moon Saloon with free merchandise.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette music major XelA7th and New Orleans native Alfred Banks were the two featured artists of the night. XelA7th kicked off the show at 8 p.m. with singles “Tylenol,” “Trippin” and others. “Tylenol’s” quick rap cadences embodied the message of pain and endurance of life’s problems- a right-on-time message, given the climate of UL Lafayette students’ preparation for finals week. I’m sure we all can empathize with “Taking Tylenol cause my head hurts.”
Up next, Alfred Banks, a New Orleans native rapper and vocalist, rocked the stage with clever rhymes and impressive crowd engagement. Banks created a personable experience for his listeners using a mix of humor and honesty.
One unforgettable moment of his set included Banks instructing the crowd to hold an object in the air so that he could freestyle about each one. The audience held things up such as ChapStick, glasses, cameras, a scrunchie and a keychain, amongst others, and Alfred Banks delivered. One by one, he called out the audiences’ item of choice, and the crowd went wild.
Hip-hop and R&B headliners, Good Problems, hit the stage around 9 p.m. opening with UL Lafayette rapper (and host for the night) G-Reg, introducing all the members and calling them to the stage. Members Rick Valentino, G-Reg, Jinaki and Madi make up this lively group, including a full band on drums, bass, piano, guitar and saxophone. After everyone was introduced, the crowd was hype and up on their feet, full of anticipation of this local group’s performance.
Good Problems was able to keep the crowd engaged performing singles from their personal artistries and cover songs that inspired their journey. This performance was a night to remember.
Good Problems performers Madi, G-Reg and Jinaki were interwoven throughout the night, performing both together and separately throughout their set.
Madi, UL Lafayette junior in recording arts, shared her sultry flavor with the audience through a soul/R&B style of singing and rapid melodic lyrics delivered in a sing-rapping style.
G-Reg, UL Lafayette senior in music business, used positive messaging and raw delivery to inspire a journey of becoming and perseverance. Throughout his opening set, he reminded the audience that each song has a story, and therefore shared his trials from the heart of his convicting rap lyrics.
Jinaki, UL Lafayette senior double majoring in music media and music business, hyped the crowd with his energetic delivery and relatability, sharing songs from his recent project, “Find Your Light,” which debuted around this time last year.
The night was full of good music, family and fun. The band played all night- their set highlighting each musician through solos, and creative musical dynamics to keep the crowd engaged and on their feet. Even though it was raining that Friday, the crowd turnout was exceptional, coming for a performance and leaving with an experience.
Friday was a great way to kick off spring break, and Good Problems is a testament that hard work, persistence and dedication pays off- a lesson we can all learn from as we step into finals week.