Weird N Awful, Brian Chiappinelli says, is something you’ve definitely never seen before.
The Albany based recording engineer, hip hop artist (and drummer in the band Bad Mothers) has been working with the music collective and concert company for almost two years now. He reached out to the collective’s founder Rakeem Miles when he was only first breaking into the scene.
“I try to only be a part of shows I would want to attend myself,” he says. “That’s why I reached out to Rakeem…I wanted to be a part of what they were making happen.”
Based out of Miles’ hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, Weird N Awful was born as a concert showcase collective–a group of artists who wanted to provide a safe creative environment for artists of all kinds (music, dance, film and more) to perform and gain exposure. It’s touted as a collective for all those who feel out of place, a rebellion against the closed minded.
“It’s jumping off of the Odd Future deal,” Chiappinelli explains, referencing Miles’ ties to the renowned hip hop collective known for churning out superstars like founder Tyler the Creator or later additions Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean.
“It’s a collective, but bigger in all aspects of promotion. It’s a label, but without the signing. A team of people that has decided to work together because we see the benefits of working with each other. It leaves less beef between people and it gives you bigger options to really pursue what you want. Now everything is in the hands of artists.”
This isn’t the first time Miles has brought Weird N Awful to Albany. Last May, he and Chiappinelli organized a show at the Madison Theater with a turnout of 50 people. They decided to regroup and plan bigger for the future.
Since then, Miles has moved out to Los Angeles and has grown the team of artists and “bases” in multiple states. Chiappinelli helps on the booking end of the New York based production collective. The original Wilmington home base thrives on in Delaware, Miles operates shows in LA and a manager operates a collective in Connecticut.
There are a lot of local collectives that are doing good work, Chiappinelli observes, and after working with Weird N Awful–a collective that has stretched from coast to coast–he can really see it building.
“I work at Foster House Studios in the Armory recording a lot of the local hip hop artists — Ozy, Clear Mind, Chris Cool Peeples, Andre the Giant and Promise [the Unbreakable] sometimes. I don’t know if all those dudes would call themselves a collective but the way they work together and support each other at shows,” he nods his head, “they’re next up around here because they’re making it that way. They have an incredible reach that they’re building.”
“This show is gonna be a show you can jump at,” Chiappinelli says. Building off of their last experience, he and Miles opted to bring several artists on to play the show, which will also double as Chiappinelli’s release party for his new album Clips.
“I’ve been writing this for like a year,” Chiappinelli says of the album. Having been an artist under different names for years, this will be his debut project under the name B Chaps.
“The whole album is pretty much just coming to terms with things,” he says. “It’s not that serious but there’s a good half of it that is. Just getting up and dealing with the realities of life because that’s hard to do.”
The other half of the album will focus on what the artist calls the “music entertainment” aspect, like his recent drop “No Sneakers” that he will be playing at the release show along with some older crowd favorites.
“I get really up in my own thoughts and sometimes I overwrite or over analyze things. That can’t be a whole album because that’s a lot,” he laughs. “I wanted to lighten it up a little bit…A little off the wall and crazy. I want it to be fun at the show. I try to get everybody on the same plane so that I’m not just up performing, we’re just partying together.”
The local artists Chiappinelli has nabbed for the show will include Mic Lanny, Soo Do Koo, Clear Mind and DJ Siroc as well as Chiappinelli, as B Chaps. After the gig, he’ll be joining Miles and his crew of artists–Kudo, Miles BLVD, Aadi and Standing Ovation–for a small two week tour through Maryland and Delaware.
“If you’re not familiar with the artists on this bill, they make a certain type of music,” he says. “A hip hop/pop crossover with summer vibes. This is the perfect time to do it.”
Weird N Awful Albany kicks off at 7 PM on Friday, April 13 at Jupiter Hall, Crossgates Mall in Albany. Clips will be available on all streaming sites.