Singing to an Eight Beat Measure

RIT’s academics are hardly the only thing that the university receives accolades for.

RIT has many student clubs and organizations that have been recognized for excellence both internally and externally. One such organization is Eight Beat Measure, RIT’s very own male A Cappella group. In April, Eight Beat Measure received the prestigious Contemporary A Cappella Society (CARA) award for best Hip Hop song, carried to glory by their 2016 album Polarized. For those of you who do not follow A Cappella closely, the CARA is the A Cappella equivalent to a Grammy. 

Now, if you are asking yourself, “Wait a minute, Hip Hop album? Don’t A Cappella groups just do those silly barbershop quartet songs like in movies?”, you’ve never had the chance to see a modern A Cappella group perform. A Cappella is simply music without instrumental accompaniment. It can be any style of music from the Blues to Jazz to, yes, Hip Hop. To see Eight Beat Measure in action, check out their YouTube account. You can also listen to their music on Spotify, Google Play, and Apple music. This, of course, includes the award winning Polarized.

Polarized, released May 2016, is a collection of covers done by Eight Beat Measure. It has received a fair bit of attention, with their rendition of Usher’s single Scream has been streamed over 77,000 times on Spotify. That’s hardly their best performing song, either, with a song off of a previous release receiving over a QUARTER MILLION streams. Needless to say, the world has heard of Eight Beat Measure.

What does this album sound like, anyway?

It’s not what you may expect from an A Cappella group, especially the barbershop quartet version you may have in your head. It’s smooth, well produced, and thanks to some clever production, sounds like they’re using instruments where they use only their voices. It sounds like a hip hop or modern R&B album – not some sort of corny knock off of one. Of course, that is not to say the album is entirely formulaic, it has a style and charm all its own.

There is a strong element of vocal harmony, as is the expectation with an A Cappella group. These harmonies add rather than detract to songs originally sung by a lone vocalist, especially on tracks such as “Scream” or “Fascinated”. Even when a soloist takes care of the lyrics, the track does not seem empty so to speak. It sounds like there is a full band backing up each track, even though it is only the voices of the various members of Eight Beat Measure. This is best heard on their cover of “Uptown Funk”, which stays extremely true to the original version.

You might think that in the wake of all this success, that Eight Beat Measure would be more than happy to sit back and enjoy their success.

This could not be any further from the truth. The group is already hard at work planning what is next in the weeks and months ahead. In the short term, you can expect a new song to be coming out. Their new single “Forgiven”, originally performed by Kwabs, will be dropping soon. Further out, Eight Beat Measure plans on attending several international A Cappella festivals and competitions. Chief among these will be International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), which will take Eight Beat Measure down to New York City. The group will be performing closer to home during the upcoming school year as well, so keep an eye out for Eight Beat Measure near campus.

Stay stress-free at RIT

An inevitable part of student life, stress can easily get in the way of a successful semester.

However, RIT has a number of resources in place to help combat that stress. Whether you need to voice your opinion or are struggling with your co-op search, there’s someone ready to help you.

FoodShare Center

According to Feeding America, nearly 49.3% of college students must choose between educational expenses and buying food. RIT FoodShare aims to combat this issue by providing all students with access to free food. What originally started as a Facebook group  to share free food items across campus, turned into a physical center for distribution at Riverknoll. RIT FoodShare is a solution to the problem of food insecurity for college students. Open to all members of the RIT community, visitors can pick up free food items, donate, or volunteer.

Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education

One of the prime qualities of an RIT education is the integration of co-ops into the curriculum. When it comes time to finding that co-op, the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education is dedicated to helping you succeed in the job search. Career Services offers career counseling, career mentors, diversity initiatives, grad school information, and much more. Whether you need resume help or co-op advice, the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education will help you every step of the way.

Ombuds Office

During your academic career, you may run into situations that require outside intervention to come to a fair resolution. Neglecting to effectively resolve a conflict, “may cause further damage and lead [you] and your team or organization down a vicious path of negativity,” according to Creighton University. Filled with trained professionals, The Ombuds Office is available for all RIT members in times of conflict. It provides a safe and confidential place to voice any disputes, problems, or questions you may have.

Pawprints

Students are already making change on campus using Pawprints. You can, too. Created by Student Government, the goal of the site is to allow members of RIT’s community to converse on important issues. If you’re looking to support on-going initiatives students care about, view, sign, and share any petitions at pawprints.rit.edu/.

Naps.rit.edu

Best put by Teen Vogue, this RIT feature is “tired, tested, and true”. Naps.rit.edu brings you the best napping spaces around campus. Knowing where to nap on campus is perfect for those moments when you need to unwind between classes. Check out the website for a complete map of napping locations with the size and quiet level of each spot.

Tiger Center

If you haven’t already, it’s time to take full advantage of  the new and improved Tiger Center website. The site is equipped with your schedule, course enrollment information, grades, academic information and dining balances. The dining balances tab even provides you with a rough estimate of how much you can spend for the rest of the day and week. The grades section provides you with a GPA calculator, so you can always see how you’re doing academically throughout the course of the semester.

While these resources may help reduce stress for some, no two people experience stress the same way. If you’re experiencing stress and need help navigating through it, please visit Tigers Care for information about more resources that can help you find what works for you.