Class 6
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Class 6

Glassboro, New Jersey, United States | SELF

Glassboro, New Jersey, United States | SELF
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"Profstock 2011"

After months of buzzing anticipation around campus, Rowan University’s second annual Profstock concert finally arrived this past weekend.

Profstock was once again organized by Rowan’s Office of Student Activities, Rowan After Hours and Student University Programmers. Students packed Esby Gymnasium last Saturday night to see performances by electric hip-hop duo LMFAO, rap superstar Ludacris and pop sensation Ke$ha. Before any of those acts took the stage, the night was kicked off by the winner of Rowan’s Battle of the Bands competition, Class 6.

Class 6, consisting of lead vocalist Chris Bell, synthesizer and producer Kyle Hall, guitarist James Logan, Tony Le on keyboards, bassist Harry Markhorst and drummer Dan Benevento, has played well-known venues such as Starland Ballroom in Sayreville and JC Dobbs in Philadelphia. The group set the mood for a memorable night in Glassboro by playing several of their own songs, as well as a cover version of the popular song “Forever,” originally performed by Drake, Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne and Eminem.

Then, the duo of Skyler “SkyBlu” and Stefan Kendal “RedFoo” Gordy, better known as LMFAO, took to the stage. The two executed their own unique set, successfully completing beer funnels and tossing glow sticks into the crowd, while performing songs such as their hit singles “I’m in Miami, Bitch,” “Shots” and “Get Crazy,” which is prominently featured as the theme song to the hit reality TV show “Jersey Shore.”

“You know what, we get booked different events,” said SkyBlu. “We get booked for private parties with tighter capacities where it’s only like anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 people and that’s when you really feel the energy of the crowd. We’ve done shows where it’s like 60,000 people in bigger places and you just can’t feel the energy of each and every body in the crowd.”

After an energy-packed performance from LMFAO, Ludacris, a 10-year hip-hop veteran, began his set. His segment began with “Southern Fried Intro” off his 2003 album “Chicken-N-Beer” and followed it up with “Number One Spot,” off his fourth album “The Red Light District.”

“I want to go from the beginning to the current time,” said Ludacris in an exclusive interview with The Whit before he took the stage. “I’m definitely going to play a lot of hits. I want to give the crowd a lot tonight.”

Ludacris continued his segment by playing hit songs such as “What’s Your Fantasy?” and “Move (Bitch),” and made certain that each set of hands in the crowd went up (and they stayed there) as he performed his verse from the popular DJ Khaled single “All I Do is Win.” His set featured plenty of variety including a brief appearance by the up-and-coming rap group ECP, a solo performance from his disc jockey DJ Jaycee of V-103 and incorporated plenty of conversations and interactions with the students in attendance. Ludacris even went as far as to take a few requests from those in the first few rows.

“With the smaller shows like this, it’s definitely good energy. You can kind of talk to the crowd,” Ludacris said. “It’s more intimate. I definitely love doing the shows for college kids because they need stuff like this. They need breaks from all the crazy stuff they deal with.”

Last to perform was the self-proclaimed dance commander Ke$ha, who opened her set from inside an LED-lit diamond while wearing glasses covered in white light bulbs. Lyrics from her single “Sleazy” were shouted from the stage as several Rowan students shouted from the crowd perfectly in sync with the pop star.

Amidst the pyrotechnics fired from her bongo drum, the confetti and glitter blasted from an air rifle, and the perception that she crucified and drank the blood of one of her backup dancers, Ke$ha, who declined to comment on the show, also found time to perform most of the songs from her debut album “Animal” as well as the follow-up album “Cannibal.” While many in the crowd soaked in the moment, some were disappointed with the performance.

“I was most excited for Ke$ha,” said Megan O’Neil, a junior education major. “But I ended up leaving three songs into her set. The confetti she shot out was cool though.”

So, too, was the piñata strategically placed above the set that busted at the show’s conclusion to rain condoms and glitter onto the stage. - The Whit


"Band of the Week - Class 6"

Like many fans of the fusion of rock/hip hop I trace my interest in the genre back to hearing the Judgment Night Soundtrack in 1993 and to early Red Hot Chili Peppers and 311. Thus, every cross over band that I hear often is viewed through the prism of pre "nu-metal". I remember when hearing a mix of guitars and slickly flowing rhymes was a bit of a novelty and the "purists" from the far sides of the spectrum just didn't seem to get it. When I sat and listened to Class 6 I was struck at how sonically they most certainly "got it".


With that in mind, it's no surprise that their song "Nostalgia" has got me hooked. Apart from being able to relate to the days when "MJ was the craze and tha bomb was the phrase", I am wholly impressed at the band's ability to have a strong positive message behind their music. In this era of "studio gangsters" and self destructive hardcore rock it is refreshing that Class 6 is able to answer both with three powerful elements: a strong rhythm section, well written guitar/keyboard leads and obviously Chris' rhymes. It makes me think that if the Pharcyde and Faith No More met in a brightly lit alley to make music the end result would sound similar to Class 6. For a band that has only been together for two years Class 6 has a mature sound and presence that you should most certainly check out.
- Matthew Clarke


""Living Beyond Limits" EP Review"

For a band that’s been together for barely two years, Class 6 very quickly hit on their sound and their artistic vision to fuse a variety of music genres with their youthful outlook and their penchant for spinning a positive take on life, love and culture in their lyrics.

On Living Beyond Limits, the New Jersey-based band kicks things off with “The New Movement,” a fierce, rhythmically grandiose song overflowing with funky bass lines, swirling keyboards and expertly-delivered lyrical rapping. The three-minute opening package sets the stage for the listener’s introduction to the offbeat Class 6 fusion of slamming pop, hip-hop, and rock.

“Nostalgia” represents exactly what the title implies and stands out as a bit of a musical conundrum… how is it that a group of six young guys (some of whom are still in high school) are so introspective and wistful? How do they even know the true inner meaning of nostalgia, and how do they express it in song so effectively? Well, they do perfectly capture that longing-for-better-days and thoughtful reflection typically only experienced much later in life within the lyrics in “Nostalgia.”

“You know you been there/Nostalgia in the air/It’s more than what you wear or how you rock ya hair/Do you recall?/It’s what made you who you are.” That street-smart sentiment in “Nostalgia” shows Class 6’s foundation is firmly planted in their youth with an eye for their future.

If Class 6 has a ‘love song,’ it is the riff-heavy “Catchin’ Fire,” a bass-popping, bittersweet tale about meeting a girl at a club and falling fast and hard for her, only to find out she’s bad news and not “Ms. Right” in the end. Unlike much of their rock and hip hop contemporaries, “Catchin’ Fire” is a jaded story of female deception and disappointment, but it stops far short of the vile and hatred so commonplace in music lyrics today. Class 6 shows you can write about love gone wrong, mind games and cheating without coming across as a woman hating perverted ego maniac.

“Triumph” comes in at just the right redemptive moment on Living Beyond Limits to remind us all that everything in life happens for a reason – the good, the bad, and everything in between. Again, like the over-the-top bragging and self-aggrandizing of so many others in the music industry, Class 6 manages to rise above that and keep things classy while letting others know how they overcame adversity and negativity together as a band.

Lyrically and musically, the band stands tall and confident without being cocky, they are morally upright without the accompanying superiority complex, and they exhibit stellar musical skills. No song captures all of that better than “Misguided.” They’re probably the first band to use the phrase “family values” in a song that wasn’t ridiculing the concept of family values. They’re not saying they’re squeaky clean either – they’re just saying it’s cool to have a strong set of core beliefs and to write and rap about them with pride and conviction. More power to ‘em. - Carl Cunningham (Music Journalist)


Discography

EP - Living Beyond Limits
Lead Singles - Nostalgia, New Movement

Photos

Bio

Recent Shows:
- The Break Contest - Finalist, won the opportunity to play at the 2011 Bamboozle Festival at the New Meadowlands Stadium
- Rowan University (Profstock 2011) - Opener for Ke$ha, Ludacris, and LMFAO
- The Trocadero Theatre - $10,000 Battle of the Bands Winner

“A strong foundation, built up from the ground
May sway sometimes but I’m never comin’ down.”

That verse from “Nostalgia” perfectly sums up the camaraderie and unbreakable bond found in the music of one of the East Coast’s rising young bands.

It’s almost one of the oldest clichés in music for a band of guys to say they’re like brothers, but for the six musicians in the New Jersey-based hip hop/rock hybrid Class 6, their brotherhood was formed out of lifelong friendships and their shared struggle to make their unclassifiable brand of music their way.

With six members comprising the band - lead vocalist Chris Bell, Kyle Hall (synthesizer/producer), guitarist James Logan, Tony Le on keyboards, bassist Harry Markhorst and drummer Dan Benevento – they truly are a musical family with a unique and spontaneous fusion of the best of the worlds of rock, hip hop, funk, and pop.

Formed in Glassboro, New Jersey in 2007, Class 6’s members all attended the same high school, they all live within a mile of each other, and when they’re not practicing or playing shows, they’re nearly always hanging out together. Originally founded as a rap group with other friends from school and then quickly signed to their music teacher’s start-up record label, Class 6 evolved from a very unfocused musical group to become the driven and dedicated band they are today after finalizing their line-up.

In a very short time, Class 6 went from playing nearly empty coffee houses and cafes to winning a Battle of the Bands contest at the famed Trocadero concert hall, beating out 80 other bands to win the top spot. Class 6 has gone on to perform at other notable venues including JC Dobbs and the Starland Ballroom in addition to performing at numerous charitable concerts supporting causes ranging from helping local residents that have fallen on hard times to international causes like stopping the atrocities occurring in Darfur.

That bond and chemistry they share as a band shines through on the five songs on their recently released EP Living Beyond Limits, a mostly autobiographical recording that shows the band’s power and amazingly catchy fusion of hard rock guitar, funky bass, elegant keyboards, super-tight drumming and uplifting hip hop style lyrics.

The guys in the band call their sound and musical style everything from hybrid, relatable, inspirational, and ‘in your face’ to loud, strong, real and ‘an experience.’ As a musical force, Class 6 collectively wants people to be able to listen to their music and feel like the lyrics relate to their lives, and to inspire fans the same way each members’ favorite bands have inspired them musically, mentally and spiritually.

If their unusual blend of rock, pop and hip hop wasn’t enough to set them apart and scare off potential concert venue booking agents (many said their music would “attract the wrong crowd”), the lyrical content within the songs surely make Class 6 stand out from both the typical ‘sex, drugs and rock & roll’ of rock bands as well as the drug dealing, woman-hating, violence drenched lifestyle glamorized in much of rap and hip hop music. Check out the self-empowering, smart lyrics in “Triumph”:

"At 13, I picked up a pen for the first time,
I had written my emotions and feelings on every line
It took a toll on me, inside of soul for me
I had to get my mind right, take control of me
Until I made some songs with some guys that I grew up with
Then my life just moved into a new shift"

The ‘new shift’ alluded to in “Triumph” refers to Class 6’s dedication to being a role model and to show fans young and old that they can do something positive with their lives by chasing their dreams and following their hearts. The name of their EP – Living Beyond Limits – stands for many things to the members, but it mainly represents their journey to succeed despite all of the turned heads of people in the industry that doubted their vision. Their mission was to break the music mold, and in breaking that mold, they found unity in difference. The group stayed true to themselves while making music that people of all ages, races and backgrounds can rock out to.