A heavily anticipated set of love songs will find itself sandwiched between two rap performances this Friday at Muse Music Cafe. Donnie Bonelli, releasing his debut rap album “Shakeface,” will double-headline with Drew Danburry, who will play selections from his “70 Love Songs” album. Scott “Atheist” Knopf will set the stage as the opener.
Scott “Atheist” Knopf
Knopf embraces humor in his rap. He sets himself apart by creating quality music but not taking himself too seriously.
“Rappers love to take themselves too seriously,” Knopf said. “I’m a fat white guy with a beautiful afro. And I have a passion for suit jackets. So I make light-hearted, self-deprecating hip-hop. But it’s not nerdcore. And it’s not comedy rap. It’s just fun, well-produced music with lots of replay value.”
Knopf and Bonelli are members of a Provo-based hip-hop collective called House of Lewis. Bonelli’s album “Shakeface” features every member of House of Lewis, and each will grace the stage at Friday’s performance.
Love comes next in the lineup. City Weekly Music Award nominee Drew Danburry will play songs from the second installment of his “For All the Girls” project, this album being titled “70 Love Songs.” This album boasts variety in genres and collaboration with over 60 different local musicians, several of which will accompany Danburry onstage this Friday.
Danburry said each collaboration varied depending on how much the individual wanted to get involved. Not wanting to make artists feel like he was taking advantage of their talent, Danburry let collaborators choose how much control they wanted over their song’s end result.
“I loved all the different ideas people brought to the table,” Danburry said. “I loved how I would write a song and then someone would take it in an entirely different direction. … It was fun to experience all that variety in humanity, and in a sense it felt like I was curating the music from a more objective point of view, rather than the more personal expository manner in which I’ve made music in the past.”
Rapper Donnie Bonelli wants his art to represent real life, which he describes as a roller coaster. The amount of effort he put into his “Shakeface” album affected its stylistic breadth.
“Every word on the album was thought out and scrutinized over so that it would properly represent who I am and what I’m about,” Bonelli said. “As a result, ‘Shakeface’ has a pretty big stylistic range.”
Bonelli conceived the “Shakeface” concept while looking through an old hard drive. He found inspiration in copious photos of him and friends shaking their faces. He also credited the title choice to the diverse nature of the album. He describes some of the songs as “dancy” and others as “introspective” but claims they are all from the heart.
“I wanted the flow of the tracks to feel like the listener was moving from one side of my personality to the other,” Bonelli said.
Bonelli believes that live performances should bring extraordinary entertainment value.
“My set will be an experience,” Bonelli said. “I often go to shows in Provo and Salt Lake and think, ‘Wow, this is a really talented band, singer or rapper, but their show is just so boring.’ I think artists want their music to be enough, and it is for listeners. But for show-goers, I think we artists owe it to our audience to give them something more.”
Entertainment and silliness abound in the music video for Bonelli’s song “Shakeface.” Both Bonelli and Knopf demonstrate the skill with which they can shake their faces.
Muse Music Cafe will host this show on Fri. Feb. 21. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $5. Tickets are $7 at the door.