When the Association for Student Activity Programming started planning tonightâ€™s hip-hop concert, it knew a conventional stage just wasnâ€™t going to cut it.Â
So tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom, an innovative 360-degree stage will be the platform for multiple hip-hop artists, including CSUâ€™s own Black Prez.Â
Throughout the past two months, students may have seen ambiguous posters plastered around campus showing the outline of a man and the words, â€œTheyâ€™re coming to CSU.â€ This, of course, got many students asking, â€œWho are â€˜theyâ€™?â€
And thatâ€™s exactly what ASAP Concert Coordinator Loren Martinez wanted.
â€œWe wanted it to be mysterious â€“â€“ we wanted to get people talking,â€ Martinez said.
It turns out the man outlined in the poster was the concertâ€™s headliner Black Prez, and â€œtheyâ€ are the diverse group of acts, including a live graffiti artist, performing tonight.
Black Prez, or Joshua Madry as his professors at CSU know him, is currently working toward his masterâ€™s degree in education and human resources. But outside of class, Black Prez is making himself known around Colorado as a popular force in the rap community.
â€œA lot of students wanted him,â€ Martinez said. Â
Junior journalism major Brian Hanlin is one of those eager students.
â€œ(Black Prez) has some really sick beats,â€ Hanlin said.
There was even a university campaign, albeit unsuccessful, to get Black Prez to open for the Ludacris show in Moby Arena last semester.Â
â€œIâ€™ve been rapping my whole life,â€ Black Prez said to the Collegian. â€œI still have recordings of me when I was three years old rapping Snoop Dogg songs into a recorder that my dad bought me.â€
In addition to Black Prez, the Denver based hip-hop band Big Wheel will perform tonight, as well as 17-year-old rapper Cam Meekins, whom ASAP is flying in from Boston for the show.
The host of tonightâ€™s show will be DJ Verja. He will keep the crowd entertained between sets and emcee for the concertâ€™s dance battle. Any attendee will be able to enter the battle, and whomever the audience votes as their favorite will win $300.
Tonightâ€™s show will be illuminated by the same lighting company that worked for the Ludacris concert. Â
Jolt, a live graffiti artist from Denver, will be lit up next to the 360-degree stage as he creates a large CSU– themed piece of art.
â€œThis is not going to be your typical concert,â€ Martinez said. â€œItâ€™s going to be more of a festival type atmosphere. Weâ€™re really trying to expose the positive side of hip-hop.â€
The concert is sponsored by ASAP, Scene Magazine and the non-profit organization Hip Hop Congress, and the $6,000 cost was partially paid for with student fees.
Â Tickets will be available for $5 at the door, which opens at 6:30 p.m.
Staff writer Colleen McSweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.