4 Thursday, February 15, 2001 The ComPASS
University Players Perform “The Old Settler”
The University Players, Elizabeth
City State University's theatre troupe,
presented John Henry Redwood's
award-winning play the Old Settler for
a five performance run on February
14-18,2001 in the G.R. Little Library on
the ECSU campus in Elizabeth City.
"The Old Settler" is Redwood's
comic romance about life in Harlem,
New York in the 1940's. An off-Broad-
way hit starring Leslie Uggams in the
title role, the play received glowing
Leon Rouson, director of ECSU's
Mathematics and Science Education
Network program, directed "The Old
Settler." Rouson, who staged memo
rable productions of "For Colored Girls
..." and "The Children's Hour" for the
Players, assembled a first rate cast.
Rosa "Dee Dee" Riddick portrayed
Elizabeth Borny, who was the old set
tler because she had never been mar
ried. Riddick, a graduate of ECSU, is
no stranger to the Little Theatre stage.
She has played major roles in produc
tions of "The First Breeze of Summer,"
"Of Mice and Men," "Dracula" and
"The Crucible." Dorothy Wills Down
ing, another veteran of the Little The
atre, played Elizabeth's sister, Quilly
McGrath. Downing was recently seen
as the mother, Mrs. Banks, in last
season's "Barefoot in the Park." She
has also acted leading roles in "A Rai
sin in the Sim," "Nimsense II" and "Ma
Rainey's Black Bottom."
Damond Nollan appeared in the key
role of Husband, the border who dis
rupts the lives of Elizabeth and Quilly.
Nollan received praise for his perfor
mance as the Commissioner in
"Lysistrata" last November. The sole
newcomer to the stage was Kizzy V.
Crawford, an ECSU senior from Rocky
Mount, who appeared in the role of
Lou Bessie, Husband's girlfriend.
Darius D. Eure served as production
stage manager, and the lighting was
designed by Michael Ludden and
University Players is currently pre
paring for its upcoming production
"The Colored Museum." Performance
dates are Mar. 28, 29, 30 and 31 at 8:00
p.m. in the Little Theatre.
Funkmaster Flex: 47 Minutes of Funk
Arts and Entertainment Editor
Loud Record and Funkmaster Flex
have combined on a new album called
60 Minutes of Funk, Volume IV: The
Mixtape, and I have problems with it.
First of all, the cd is seventy-four
minutes long, not sixty. Out of those
seventy-four minutes, there is seventy-
four minutes of furik at best (I might
even be stretching it a tad). Forty-seven
minutes isn't too bad, especially nowa
days, but I was just expecting more.
The lead single, "Do You," is a good
concept song and features some of
DMX's better lyrics (and least amount
of growls). Saukrates' "Fine Line," al
though too short, is easily one of the
best tracks on the tape and shows what
the future of rap music will sound like.
And Faith Evans' "Good Life" is noth
ing but good, solid R&B music. Nelly,
Ludacris and Eminem with D-12 also
do their thing-thing.
Unfortunately though, the better
tracks on the tape get cut short. Nature
and In Essence orUy get about two min
utes a piece, and The Bad Seed's
"Uhhrmh," produced by soon-to-be
superstar Nottz of the Norfolk based
Teamstas, gets cut off after one verse.
Meanwhile, Capone N' Noreaga's mo
notonous "What Son What" and Ja-
Rule and The Murderer's equally mo
notonous "Peelin' the Hate" combine
for nearly ten minutes of play time.
My second problem with Flex's new
joint is that it's supposed to be a
mixtape and it just plain is not! This cd
is nothing but a compilation of new
songs put together under the name of
one of the country's best known deejays
as a marketing ploy to create more rev
If it weren't for the extra-wack inter
ludes and Flex popping in to yeU all
the profanities he's ever learned, you'd
never know this was even intended to
be a mixtape. There are no cuts,
scratches, blends or mixes to be heard
on this new "mixtape." There are actu
ally several occasions where songs just
fade out! That's more than disappoint
ing; it's pathetic.
The tape, as a compilation album, is
not all that bad. The beats are bangin'
all the way through, and there are sev
eral choice cuts in there. I just happen
to know that Flex is capable of making
a better product-I have his last three
volumes. Hopefully, next time he'll take
it back to the streets and do things the
way they're supposed to be done.
Left to right: Kizzy Crawford, Rosa Riddicic, Dorothy Wills Downing
and Damond Nollan.
Cosmic and Pure: Badu’s Mama’s
Gun A Hit
Arts and Entertainment Editor
In 1997, a breath of fresh air named
Erykah Badu enchanted the music
world with her debut album, Baduizm.
And now, four years and a label
change later (from Universal to
Motown), the purity that Ms. Badu
previously presented in her music has
not diluted at all. Her new album.
Mama's Gun, is every bit as creative,
honest and gratifying as music can be.
In the album's first single, "Bag
Lady," (minus the Xxplosive loop)
Erykah warns the women of the world
to stop carrying the baggage of
previous experiences before they wind
up alone. Floating through the jazzy
atmosphere of the second single,
"Didn't Cha Know," the southern gul
tries to find her way through life while
remembering to enjoy the ride. An
"Orange Moon" becomes a beautiful
metaphor for Erykah, who now shines
bright because she reflects the light of
Erykah's cosmic wisdom and unique
perspective are spread throughout
Mama's Gun. She projects an intelli
gent woman's point of view and speaks
to the sophisticated listener, a
demographic often neglected in R&B
But although Erykah Badu's music
contains more depth than her contem
poraries, she reveals her playful na
ture in On," the hip-hop influ
enced continuation of her breakthrough
single "On & On," as weU as "Cleva,"
in which jazz great Roy Ayers plays
The soundscape of the album is pro
vided by a handful of people who are
literally creating the sound of the new
soul; Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson of
the Roots along with The Soulquarians-
James Poyser and Jay Dee-fuse together
pieces of jazz, soul, the blues and hip-
hop in order to create the sweet
rhythms that underscore Ms. Badu's
distinct vocals. The result is bliss.
Young folks will not understand this
album; the average twenty-somethings
won't appreciate it. Erykah Badu
knows this. But mama's gun has her
sights set on something more mean
ingful than mass appeal.
In "...& On," she sings, "What good
do your words do if they can't under
Some of us do imderstand Erykah.
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