Modern Griot Spotlight: “Studying for My PhD Mixtape”


Singer and violinist, Marques Toliver has released his new mixtape, “Studying for My PhD,” which is a compilation of 14 tracks commenting on the London riots. Toliver samples a variety of sources including Al Green, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, Beyonce, Jackson 5, Bobby Womack, Shuggie Otis, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, James Baldwin speeches, and even a racist nursery rhyme. Together, they create a swirling mass of musical sounds and dialogue accompanying Toliver’s gentle voice and violin. And surprisingly it works. For those of you who don’t know who Marques Toliver is, this is the song I first heard from him:

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