Rap group takes radio

Concepts Logo

Concept’s Logo

Local rap group Concept Collective, also known simply as Concept, will be interviewed on radio station WPGC 95.5 on Friday, May 18. The group is comprised largely of students and alums of the school. For example, Diego Holmes-Bonilla, Larry Carpenter, Julian Hinkson, and Eric Lusby are seniors and members of the group.

Concept got its start by posting music on SoundCloud, a music streaming service. This led some students to brand the group as “SoundCloud rappers,” a term which is generally used derisively to suggest a lack of professionalism or skill. “Everyone would ‘flatter’ us by saying ‘you’re not that bad’ or ‘this is kind of good,’” former manager Matthew Herrity said. “It was seen as a hobby that a group of friends had.”

This perception began to shift as Concept played more and more live shows. They started out performing at Kenmore Middle School’s black box theater in April 2017, and two months later they performed at Clarendon Ballroom, where over 400 people attended. “It brought about different groups of people in our area and connected them through our music, which helped spread the word about us,” Hinkson said.

In May 2017, they released their first album, Concept Collective Volume 1, on Spotify and other streaming services. In December 2017 they followed up with Concept Collective Volume 2. Using more popular streaming services allowed them to reach a broader audience. “Spotify is the more professional look, and it’s way easier for people to discover us than SoundCloud since people can add us to their playlists,” Carpenter said.

Spotify also allowed for one of their Volume 2 songs, “Tired Boy,” to take off. The song was added to the automatically generated “Discover Weekly” playlists of several Spotify users, boosting the number of times it was streamed and saved to users’ libraries. As of now, the song has over 140,000 streams. From this increase in popularity, the group was invited for an interview on 95.5, a popular local R&B/hip-hop station.

Concept is hopeful that the interview will garner even more attention. “I hope from the interview, people start to understand each artist’s versatility and sound, and ideally we’ll get more exposure to people in our area,” Hinkson said. Concept will be on the air at 8:30 P.M.