Arrested Development At Canalside July 12


BUFFALO — It’s been 26 years since Arrested Development became the voice of the alternative to Gangsta Rap. With upbeat music and lyrics meant to take the listener to a positive path, songs like “People Every Day,” “Tennessee,” “Mr. Wendell,” and so many more have influenced people around the world.

With co-founder, Speech, at the helm, the reconstituted group will be taking the stage at Canalside July 12 as a part of the summer music series. Speech is still looking for that positive side of life and he has no trouble finding it in a world that has grown dark for so many.

“Man, looking for the positive is something that is in my DNA. It’s innate,” he said in a recent phone interview. “I was fortunate that my mom and dad were activists. My mom was a community journalist and an activist and she and my dad would talk to us every night about issues and solutions. I guess it really isn’t all about finding the positive but about finding the solutions in a superficial way. There is hope.”

In communities where the music tends to be more violent and that light of hope has grown dim for so many, and solutions are hard to find, Speech said he never really was the one that said the music of Arrested Development was the alternative to the Gangsta Rap that seems to have less hope and ability to dream than the hip hop he brings.

“I don’t look at it that way,” he said. “I would say we are expanding on the possibilities. We are a part of the hip hop genre. You have to remember that fans of Arrested Development are also fans of guys like NWA and Lil Wayne.”

So, with just wanting to be that piece of the community, to help find solutions, and engage others to do the same, what does the world in Speech’s mind look like? If he could just make one thing right, he said it would be race relations.

“We have come from a historically deplorable race problem,” he said. “We see it all the time here, in this country, (it’s) still a part of who we are. I would like to see a land of true equality among the races.

“And we can achieve it,” he continued. “Some people need to be reminded and prodded. Right now, equality among the races is not being pushed enough.”

On the evening of July 12, Arrested Development will be live at Canalside. The show is one not to be missed, Speech said.

“We perform a high energy show, more of a celebration,” he said. “We will not preach from the stage. We allow the music to express the issues in a high-energy format. You can expect a celebration of life and of hip hop. Be ready to dance.”

Tickets for the show are on sale at all Consumer’s Beverages for $5. Canalside is an outdoor venue with not only music but also some of the Buffalo area’s best food trucks and many other surprises.