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April 23, 2013 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-04-23

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T g - nTuesday, April 23, 2013 - 9

0 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Vulnerable portrayal of
MLK in 'Mountaintop'

Is he in a bathroom?
Reggae ruined on
Snoop reinvention

Daily Arts Writer
Few figures in history have
inspired like Martin Luther
King Jr. With all of his accom-
it's easy to The
think of
the man as Mountaintop
mythic, a Thursday at 7:30
hero from p.m., Fridayat8.
a story. But p.m., Saturday
King had at3p.m.and8
strengths, p.m.,and Sun-
es and daily dayat2p.m:
struggles Petformance Network
like any- From$22
one else.
Making its
Michigan debut, Katori Hall's
play, "The Mountaintop,"
hopes to show the man behind
the icon.
The production, directed by
CarlaMilarch, focuses on the
interactions between Dr. King
(played by Brian Marable) and
a mysterious and feis'ty hotel
maid, Camae (Carollette Phil-
lips), the night before his assas-
"The life of Martin Luther
King Jr. is very sacrosanct as an
American martyr and icon and
somebody who meant so much
to so many," Milarch said.
"His life is often dealt with or
portrayed in deservedly rev-
erent tones. The playwright
approaches the portrayal of
Martin Luther King Jr. in kind
of a new way.
"Putting his struggle and his
life into the context of who he
was as a human being ... brings
a new weight, a new perspec-
tive to it - that somebody who
was a flesh-and-blood human

as fa
" (
op t
as y

able to live the life he led." of fun. They verbally spar with
all's new perspective each other."
igued and encouraged the Hall's work is fictitious but
rs, and it allowed them to based on historical facts, a
te more to the characters. combination that Phillips finds
The way that this script is exciting as an actress.
ten, there's so many attri- "Brian has to be Dr. King,
.s that you see in this guy but it's a side of Dr. King being
ar as him just being a real created in the text," Phillips
on, ad not this person said. "I think as an actor, you
seems beyond human," cay always find a lot about
able said. 'your character just by paying
he writing of the play keeps attention to what's going on in
audience engaged and the text, and how your char-
tioning. acter interacts wifh the other
Hall) is a great storyteller, people."
there's a pretty big twist at, "I think it makes it fian," she
end that is led up to. The continued. "And it does leave
ing is very taut," Milarch room.for your own creativity
. "It sort of keeps you right and your own interpretation of
e with the story." what's happening in the script.
t's got almost a thriller You can let your imagination
1 of aspect to it, as these runs."
characters start to devel- The period setting also
his relationship," Milarch imbues the play with a sense of
"It's very compelling to historical significance,
ch the little twists and "It's such a crucial time in
is of their relationship as his life," Marable said. "We can
figure each other out and go back and look at so many
Camae's real objective is different dates and speeches
aled over the course of the and big things in Dr. King's life.
This play is set the night before
he dies, after he just delivered
probably one of his most pow-
iHumor and erful speeches, on a day when
he was probably most over-
historycom whelmed and exhausted."
come The work touches not only
together on on Dr. King's struggles, but on
his beliefs as well.
stage. "I believe the play is about
faith: how you have faith,
how you lose faith and how
you keep faith," Milarch said.
he writing also includes "We all know the ending of
e humor, as the characters the story, it's true. But it's
one another out. not about the destination; it's
t's very' funny," Milarch about how we're getting there
. "The repartee these two and'things we discover along
-acters have is really a lot the way."

Daily Arts Writer
Snoop Dogg has been Rein-
carnated as Snoop Lion with
his latest release, a product of
his explora-
tions of peace,
reggae and
Rastafarian- Reincarnated
ism. The proj-
ect combines Snoop Lion
the efforts of RSA
many major
including Diplo and Major Lazer
- particular efforts to cover up
Snoop's ignorance with popular
production techniques.
Violence in the hip-hop world
led Snoop to Jamaica to reinvent
himself, where he found that
with reggae and Rastafarianism,
he can promote peace, instead
of strife, through his music. In
other words, he can have all the
money and weed without the gun
charges. Exposing himself to the
influence of original reggae art-
ists like Jimmy Cliff, Gregory
Isaacs and the Wailers - and
opening his "third eye" - have
allowed him to put forth Reincar-
nated. ,
Snoop parades his new ide-
als on "No Guns Allowed." The
song sends a powerful message by
denouncing gun violence around
the world and features Snoop's

daughter, Cori B. It's not- clear
whether the song apologizes for
Snoop's previous gun incidents
or attempts to sweep them under
the rug,butit carries a commend-
able message in today's social cli-
mate. On the other hand, in "Here
Comes the King," the chorus sings
"We at war with the army of hat-
ers / And when we kill them we
just smoke them like papers,"
which is a brief but glaring devia-
tion from Snoop's peaceful vibe.
In fact, other themes in the
album reveal Snoop's lack of
commitment to Rastafarian-
ism. A familiar reggae message
gets twisted in "Here Comes.
the King." The song promotes
unity under the King (the ruler
of the world appointed by Jah),
but in this context, the King is
Snoop Lion, and he lets everyone
know that they're beneath him
("You might be a lord / but here
comes the king") and makes
some unintentionally tyrannical
statements ("Power to the peo-
ple, let 'em kiss the ring / Bow,
here comes the king").
It seems that Snoop thinks he's
an incarnation of Haile Selassie,
which isn't too surprising of a
claim, since he also thinks he's
Bob Marley. Maybe these incon-
sistencies explain why the lead-
ers of the Rastafari movement,
including reggae legend Bunny
Wailer, are pissed off and expect a
public apology. In fact, the Rasta-
fari Millenium Council has sent a
formal written demand threaten-
ing to sue Snoop ifhe doesn't make
reparations for his misrepresenta-
tion of Rastafarian culture. Bunny

Wailer calls his use of the culture
fraudulent, and the council calls
him out for filtering their ideals
downto weed and reggae.
Despite the fact that Snoop
thinks that replacing "I" with
"me" in his lyrics and wearing a
colored hat were his last steps in
becoming a purveyor of Jamaican
tradition, not everything on the
album is ignorant. Who steps into
save the day? It's not Drake, who
clearly wrote down the wrong
tempo during the studio meeting
and can't seem to keep up with the
beat. The burden comes down on
Diplo, Major Lazer and the other
producers who create the meat
of the album. Well-executed one
drops, an effective use of horns
and groovybass lines showcase at
least an elementary understand-
ing of reggae foundations.
The producers don't attempt
to recreate reggae, but rather use
its assets to make pop/hip hop.
They take ska horn lines and put
them deep in the bass register
where they function as a hip-hop
groove. Unfortunately, some of
their experimentations go awry
- in "Torn Apart," a sound effect
that attempts to emulate some
form of hand percussion sounds
more like a wet fart and totally
distracts from the purpose of
the song - but they make Miley
Cyrus shine in "Ashtrays and
Heartbreaks" and create a solid
foundation for the record.
Researching or thinking too
hard about Reincarnated will only
disappoint, so reserve this album
for your "Summer Jams" playlist
and give it no further attention.




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