Mar 302011
 
Authors: Colleen McSweeney

Last night’s hip-hop concert had all the potential to be a jam-packed, bumping, Ludacris-esque show.

But the $6,000 concert put on by the Association for Student Activity Programming sold 200 tickets while expected attendance was significantly more, said ASAP Concert Coordinator Loren Martinez.

With its 360-degree stage, diverse artists and mid-show dance battle, ASAP brought a concert like no other to CSU, but it was more of an artistic showcase than a wall-to-wall jam fest.

“Word started getting out that doors opened at 7:30, so there was a little confusion there,” Martinez said.

By 7:30 p.m., when the concert was actually scheduled to begin, only a speckling of attendees had filled the ballroom as the opening act and host for the night DJ Verja scratched some funky tunes from his turntable.

“Hopefully more people show up, but I’ll be going full force no matter what,” Black Prez said in an interview before his set.

The majority of those early attendees were there to see the first rapper of the night, 17-year-old Cam Meekins from Boston.

“We’ll be cheering him on, even if no one else does. I love him, he is so good,” said undeclared freshman Brittany Weber.

Minutes after Meekins walked on stage, it became clear that the concert would be more personal than most.

“Hey, could you guys move over to the other side for me?” Meekins asked the crowd, referring to the lack of dispersion around the 360-degree stage.

After Meekins finished performing for the smaller than expected audience, DJ Verja took the microphone and said, “I feel like I’m just hanging out with you guys. Can we be friends?”
The crowd felt the relaxed air as well, and an impromptu dance circle broke out beside the stage even before the scheduled dance battle began.

While the second act, the hip-hop band Big Wheel, performed the most spirited attendees –– the hip-hop dancers –– began to emerge from the crowd.

“I’m surprised there are so many dancers here,” said sophomore communication studies major Marissa White.

The dancers last night called themselves “B-Boys,” another term for break-dancer. “B-Boy” dancers feel that they represent the authentic side of hip-hop dance.

“I’m gonna bring some real B-Boy flavor. I’m gonna throw it down,” said CSU alum Mike “Rocko” McDonald, who ended up taking home the dance battle’s $300 first prize.

After the dancers pumped up the energy in the ballroom the headliner for the night, CSU grad student Black Prez, took the stage.

The headlining rapper performed for a seemingly rejuvenated crowd, and it was obvious a lot of people were there to see their fellow CSU student.

“While the crowd wasn’t what ASAP hoped for, those who attended seem to have a really great time,” Martinez said.

“We’re going to put our thinking cap on and figure out what we did wrong,” Martinez said, referring to the concert’s ineffective advertisement. “It’s just sad that more people couldn’t be there to have fun.”

Staff writer Colleen McSweeney can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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