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April 11, 2011 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-04-11

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8A - Monday, April 11, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

_________________________________________________ ARTIST INTERVIEW
K.R.I.T. critical on
- life and his success

Darshan Karwat spoke about his attempt to live with little personal waste at the TEDxUofM conference on Friday.
TEDx inspires crazy

conference finds its
Ann Arbor audience
DailyArts Writer
"Who here is skipping class or
work to be here?" asked TEDx-
UofM openingspeaker and Public
Policy junior Alex O'Dell. Hands
of all ages shot into the highly
charged air of the Michigan The-
ater. All 21 speakers, dispersed
throughout a rainy April 8, were
affiliated with the University and
were enthusiastic in sharing their
wild ideas with an exceedingly
welcoming audience.
TED is a nonprofit organiza-
tion formed in 1984 as a confer-
ence aimed to bring together
people who have ideas worth
spreading from the worlds of
technology, entertainment and
design. This is the second year
an independently organized
TED event has taken place on
the University's campus. The
first year's theme was "Do You
Realize" and- this time a And,
"Encouraging Crazy Ideas" set
the tone for the conference.
All 1,700 attendees who made
it to their red plush seats had
filled out a short application not-
ing a crazy idea of theirs in six
words. My smartest peers sur-
rounded me, all there to engage
and be provoked to do. The the-
aiefwas dud-less.
"Session one was focused on
"Exploration & Discovery." It
was serious and seriously inspi-
rational. Neurosurgeon and 'U'
professor Parag G. Patil started
the morning off by discussing
the power to bridge the com-
munication gap for people with
Parkinson's through deep brain
stimulation. This straightfor-
ward, well-dressed man got
the crowd sitting forward in
their seats when he introduced
the idea of "self-talk," the voice
we're always hearing in our head
that we too easily accept as our
gut feeling. I jerked my head in

agreement at Patil's proposal
that bettering understanding
our self-talk is the key to bet-
tering communication between
the two dimensions of the mind,
intuition and analysis.
Mawuli Gyakobo, a doctor
from Ghana and a scholar of the
African Presidential Scholars
Program, filled the room with
guilt as he discussed the gap in
quality of medical care in third-
world countries. This developed
into his dream of more people
joining him to be "the voice of
the dying." Social entrepreneur
Kathleen Sienko tagged on to
Gyakobo's somber reality check
with an explanation of her medi-
cal research in India, selling her
idea establishing sustainable,
mutually beneficial relation-
ships in the field of health care.
A lunch break refueled
inspired cells. Those who hadn't
bought the lunch-packaged tick-
et were encouraged to indulge in
local Indian cuisine at Suvai or
organic pizza at Silvio's, helping
out small businesses that spon-
sored the TEDx event. I selfishly
opted for Earthen Jar - a deli-
cious vegan buffet with no lines.
Upon return, I noticed a TV
screen in the lobby on which
excited Twitter posts about the
event appeared in rapid fire.
Once the theater had its buzz
back, the second session became
even more relatable to college
students when Jameson Toole,
who graduated from the Univer-
sity and is now a Ph.D. in MIT's
Engineering Systems Division,
showed a slide with a digitalized
image of his relationship with
his girlfriend - the frequencies
of their emails, texts, Facebook
communication and instant mes-
sages expressing their transi-
tion from friendship to romance
through data. His idea of using
now to change tomorrow was
embodied when he quoted a
speaker from a former TED talk,
Hans Rosling - "Let my dataset
change your mindset." All I can
say is, I wouldn't want to be that
Session two of the event was
titled "Invention" and rolled

blithely on to Rackham Ph.D.
Darshan Karwat's story of his
project of not producing any
personal waste. Walking out on
to the decorative stage, he car-
ried two trash bags full of the
only trash he had dispensed
in the past 376 days. Karwat
admitted that toilet waste and
soap use cannot be avoided, but
he concluded with an inspiring
statement about finding beauty
in making simple choices and
trying to subside our compulsion
for the new and the next. As I
trash a Coca-Cola can and move
on to check Facebook, I would
say he imparts some wise ideas
well worth adopting.
SAC senior Jacob Mendel
showed his intriguing black-
and-white 3-D film "Train of
Shadows," allowing the attend-
ees to wear shades inside the
theater, the impressive surre-
alist film noir sinking into the
perceptions of many. The length
of the "short" film cut away a
bit of the magic and caused it
to teeter toward confusion, yet
everyone's eyes were glazed
over with imagination. I felt like
we were the kids (and adults) of
the future.
Donia Jarrar, a Masters stu-
dent in musical composition
who was forced to flee Kuwait
at a young age, let the thou-
sand listeners in on her emo-
tional tale of aiding the recent
Egyptian revolution. Jarrar
founded a blog, Speak-to-Tweet,
in which she translated voice-
mails from Egyptians who were
being repressed and left with no
communication because of the
policies of dictator Hosni Mum-
Three violinists and one cel-
list sweetly closed the event
with an acoustic version of "Do
You Realize??" by The Flaming
Lips. The song's name is not just
the title from the first Universi-
ty's TED event, but is a question
that evokes action, too.
Another admirable speaker,
Chris Van Allsburg, made a
statement that resonated with
me above all others: "The pos-
sessor of the crazy idea does not

DailyArts Writer
Like most rappers, Big K.R.I.T.
surrounds himself with the typi-
cal entourage. But as his large
posse emerged from a nonde-
script white conversion van, it
was obvious this isn't the ride of a
big pimpin' rap star. The humble
van seems fitting for a talented
poet putting introspective prose
to a dope beat.
Mississippi rapper BigK.R.I.T.
performed last night at the
Blind Pig, building excitement
by jumping into the crowd dur-
ing his hit song "Country Shit."
Known for his southern swagger
and extra crispy flow, .R.L.T.
cites Scarface, UGK and Oukast
among his influences, as well as
the politicallyconsciousgrandfa-
ther of funk, Curtis Mayfield. Big
K.R.I.T. hasn't cracked the Top
40 yet, but he's been hailed as a
young talent in the underground
rap scene, and his self-produced
mixtape, Reurnof4eva, featured
big names like Chamillionaire
and Ludacris.
But the deep southern roots
of this self-proclaimed "King
Remembered in Time" (K.R.I.T.
- get it?) go a lot deeper than his
persona. And he has no interest
in producing pop-tart singles at
the expense of his creative free-
dom and strong morals.
"I was raised by my grand-
mother - after my parents split
apart, my grandma really showed
me the way," Big K.R.I.T. said in
an interview with The Michigan
Daily. "As far as how you treat
people, you treat people how you
want to be treated. And I try to
put that in my music, the honesty
is a big part as far as my music is
K.R.I.T. grew up in the deep
South without much money to
his name, but he draws on his
upbringing to craft introspec-
tive, politically charged and
innovative cuts like the haunt-
ing "Hometown Hero," which
samples the British songstress
Adele's "Hometown Glory."
"Life is my subjectcmatter, con-
tent, it all derives from experi-
ences throughout my life - I just
really want to give other people
morals that I was taught when I
was raised," K.R.I.T. said, speak-
ing with the same rhythm and
diction as his raps. "I'm human,
I go through different things in
life. Some days I'm spiritual and
other days you just wanna hard-
core get money, you're struggling
through something, you're deal-
ing with relationships, and I'm
just kind of talking about it all."
On his latest release, Return-
of4eva, K.R.I.T. deals with rac-
ism, politics and the rap game
with tracks like the socially con-
scious and horn-infused "Anoth-
er Naive Individual Glorifying
Greed and Encouraging Racism."
K.R.I.T. may glorify the hip-hop
lifestyle, but he questions it with


Big K.R.I.T. dove into the crowd during his Blind Pig show last night.
equal fervor. And when asked alcohol," he said.
about sexism in hip-hop lyrics (a K.R.I.T. has struggled with the
subject he grapples with on the music-industrial complex, and
track "Children of the World"), says the most important factor in
he is quick to say that sexism succeeding in the hip-hop world
may be reflected in the hip-hop without compromising one's
universe, but its something that music is to surround oneself with
comes from the real world. people who believe in one's work
"Sometimes I deal with the and to take an active part in the
player-pimp side of my mind- business side. After his critically
frame, and how, yeah, it might heralded mix K.R.I.T. Wuz Here
not be right, but that's what I was dropped last summer, he signed
surrounded by, that type of envi- with Def Jam Records. Despite
ronment," he said. joining a major label, he still
Onthe beginningofthe soulful flashes his creative license.
"Children of the World" K.R.I.T. "It's been up and down, I've
deadpans, "Just in case you were been slammed once or twice, I've
wondering, I did make the beat." dealt with a lot of people, I don't
He prides himself on nurturing want to say shady people, but
each song himself, from a couple people who didn't see the vision
of scattered ideas and rhymes to like I saw it," K.R.I.T. said. "I'm
the final cut. an artist who raps about real life.
Not necessarily your typical sin-
gle from a pop artist, I'm taking
Big 9R.JI.T . the road less traveled and making
music that really meansasome-
honors his thing to me."
Though he's taking a break
Southern moral from writing to tour with his
tight circle of compatriots and
upbringing, bask in the praise from his hip
hop-savvy fans, K.R.I.T. has big
plans to break into the main-
stream while still holding onto
"I normally start with the his musical integrity.
beat and I go from there - I try "Lord willing, I catch a couple
to start with a concept, usually of platinum albums, a couple
come up with a title," he said. "I of platinum songs," he said. "I
try to take my time, I produce want to continue branding my
my own music, so at the end of label, branding my sound and
the day, I can sit in the studio as just living up to my name, 'King
long as I want to ... You know, it's Remembered in Time."
really about quality over quantity Though his ambitions are vast
for me, so I'm gonna make sure and he is anticipating the drop of
before a song ever hits the web his first album with Def Jam, Big
and before anyone ever hears it K.R.I.T. is in awe of the critical-
that it's gonna be perfect." ly acclaimed name he's already
Like many artists before him, made for himself.
Big K.R.I.T. also cites other fac- "I feel like I'm successful
tors as vital components in the already because I'm from a place
creative process. where nobody would have imag-
"Alcohol and just chilling at ined this would have happenedto
the crib, but definitely a lot of anyone," he said.



'Hanna' revels in blended innocence and violence

DailyArts Writer
"I just missed your heart,"
says the little blond girl before
shooting her prey, an elk nearly
twice her size.
The abrupt shot*
triggers the
screen to turn Hanna
blood red -
save the word At Quality 16
"Hanna" writ- and Rave
ten across it ina
child-like font. Focus
This juxtaposi-
tion of innocence and startling
violence perfectly represents
all of the things that make Joe
Wright's ("Atonement") new
thriller so downright cool.
Hanna (Saoirse Ronan, "The
Lovely Bones"), the girl in ques-
tion, is a killer on the run from
terrifying government agent
Marissa (Cate Blanchett, "The
Curious Case of Benjamin But-
ton"). After being raised and
trained in the Arctic wilderness
by her father, Erik (Eric Bana,

"The Time Traveler's Wife"),
Hanna must outrun Marissa and
kill everyone that stands in her
way in order to rejoin her father
in Berlin. Entirely out of her ele-
ment in the real world, Hanna's
choice is simple: adapt or die.
While this may sound intrigu-
ing, it's not actually the plot of
"Hanna" that makes the film so
worthwhile. In fact, the predict-
able storyline and unsurprising
twists may be the film's weak-
est points. When the mysteries
surrounding Hanna's origin are
explained, viewers are left think-
ing: "Really? That's it?" Rather,
the film's true strength lies in its
direction. Wright takes a fairly
basic narrative and makes it both
suspenseful and thought provok-
One way in which Wright does
this is through the soundtrack,
exclusively scored by the Chemi-
cal Brothers. The heavy, pulsing
beats give life to the standard
chase scenes and fight montages.
One sweet lullaby communicates
the rarity of friendship in Han-

na's bi
- a sr
in the
est ch
not by
but ra
that pl
and ce


rief moment with Sophie that make the film interesting
poiled American teenager - providing comic relief in her
omer Jessica Barden) - inability to work modern tech-
ir tent. The film's creepi- nology and tenderness in her
aracter, one of Marissa's discovery of humanity. Both are
men, is made terrifying found in the one friend Hanna
his actions or words (and is able to make, Sophie, who
sly not by his tracksuits), provides limitless one-liners
ther by the carnival tune while simultaneously remind-
ays whenever he is near - ing the viewer of the normality
g creepy images of clowns that Hanna has been so brutally
rtain pedophilia. deprived of for unknown rea-
Wright makes expert use of
lks ain't t minimalistic cinematography to
capture this journey of Hanna's
nothin' on into the real world. Spinning
cameras and shadows convey
.oirse Ronan her disorientation, while the
sharp angle changes evoke the
this m ovie. instinctual level on which her
mind functions. Audience mem-
bers will feel as though they are
right there with Hanna, fighting
ugh the seemingly never- alongside her in a confusing bat-
chase scenes are saved tle for freedom and understand-
music and do keep view- ing. Rather than relying on the
the edge of their seats, it lackluster writing to tell viewers
forced adjustment into the what they need to know, Wright
n worlds of Hanna's travels uses these elements of subtlety to

by the
ers on
is the f

"Look, if you like it, then you should have put a ring on it. OK?"
show them instead. story of a teenage girl has been
This minimalistic approach used to tackle issues as large
seen in the camerawork can be - and possibly as real - as the
applied to the movie as a whole, price of childhood and the costs
where the fantastically simple of playing God.

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