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Sun Zoo

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Biography

Brown University student.

Rap music has come a long way from its beginnings as an innocent means for third graders to remember the state capitals-who can forget romping about during recess chanting, “My bitches be in Boston but my tricks is in Topeka, all my hoes is down in Austin, man them chicks know how to freak ya.”

Many people (i.e. me) feel that the majority of chart-topping rap songs in recent years have been lacking in that intangible quality which industry folk refer to as “not sucking”. The list of complaints is long, but the unquestionable top of the heap is the sheer inanity of the lyrics.

Take, for example, “In Da Club” by 50 Cent. Rhyming party with Bacardi? Brilliant. Let me guess how you thought of that, Mr. Cent: you were at a party pouring yourself some Bacardi when you read the label, and eureka! No, wait. How silly of me. You can’t read.

Even so, this does not mean that the soul of hip-hop is dead (as opposed to polka-those tools sold out years ago). One need only to look into the pulsating world of indie rap to find countless resounding beats, poignant lyrics and striking personalities. The ranks of indie rap include the likes of Atmosphere, Aesop Rock, Cannibal Ox and MF Doom. Also among them is Brown’s own Charles Custer ‘08, better known to the hip-hop community as Sun Zoo.

Custer-Charlie to his friends, Dennis to people who mistake him for someone named Dennis-has been writing music since 1998, when classmate Jared McNeill approached him and asked him to write a verse for a rap song he had been working on. “There wasn’t a whole lot of time between when I started writing and when we started recording,” Dennis explained.

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