By Jackson Knapp | The Washingtonian
"In a bare rehearsal room at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, a goateed hip-hop emcee launches himself onto the lid of a grand piano. The classical quintet warming up beside him stops. “How y’all feel?” he says. “Y’all good?”
"They nod at Tarik Davis, a rapper who goes by the name Konshens (pronounced 'conscience'). Then they arrange their sheet music to an 18th-century ballad by German composer Franz Danzi and get to work. Konshens’s head swims in rhythmic circles as the French horn swells. Forty seconds pass before he lifts his eyes to chime in on the hook: 'All they want to do is see my people round up.'
"Classically Dope is five conservatory-trained grad students, a piano player, and Konshens, a 33-year-old rapper from Petworth who wears a flat-brimmed black cap with his handle stitched on the front, the “o” in Konshens replaced by a skull. 'Danzi might be like, ‘Whoa, what in the world is this brother doing to my song?’ ' piano player Brian Cunningham says of the unexpected collision."
Read the complete article at The Washingtonian
Photo: Classically Dope takes rap to the 18th century. (Courtesy of Classically Dope via The Washingtonian).