Much like other years, the homecoming concert only played to the tune of one demographic’s ear.
Lupe Fiasco and Asher Roth: nerd and party animal. The two performers might sound pretty versatile, but they’re not.
With dual rap backgrounds, neither Lupe nor Asher fully represents the different demographics of Main Campus. Just because one is a bit more rocked-out, while the other is more hip-hop, doesn’t mean they’re not both from the same genre.
“It’s always rap,” said Mia Casoli, a sophomore photography major. “I really don’t like rap, so I’m not going to the concert.”
Casoli said she and her friends think all homecoming ever seems to provide is a rap concert – a genre none of them particularly like.
For the fourth year, Main Campus Program Board was in charge of finding the acts and planning the homecoming concert. In 2006, MCPB got The Roots to perform, followed by Gym Class Heroes in 2007 and Nas in 2008. The only variation that exists among these performers seems to be Gym Class Heroes, but they’re also rappers with a rock edge – like Asher Roth.
But we can’t just blame MCPB for the lack of variation in homecoming concerts. MCPB conducts campus-wide polls by handing out paper surveys to determine what performers students would prefer to see in concert.
“We definitely ask everybody from different types of backgrounds,” said Tairell Fulmore, MCPB’s chair of university events. “When we went around asking people, Lupe was definitely a top pick [and] Asher Roth too. After that, we came up with a list.”
This list became the basis by which MCPB shopped around for performers and eventually booked. Based on availability, the homecoming performers became Lupe Fiasco and Asher Roth.
“I like Lupe enough to go the concert,” Brittanee Charles, a senior business management and marketing major, said. “But I’m definitely not an Asher Roth fan.”
But the groups of people more likely to participate in the homecoming concert seem to be unchangeable.
“It feels like the same demographic,” Charles said, adding that the Gym Class Heroes concert had a more eclectic audience.
Before MCPB, Student Activities, a group of faculty members who tried to represent the students, handled Temple’s homecoming. And before 2006, the homecoming concerts were not official ticketed events but rather Bell Tower gatherings with random artists screaming on stage.
While MCPB works hard to put together homecoming events, its methods are not the most efficient for choosing performers. The poll MCPB conducted should have been better publicized.
Some students will never be pleased when it comes to homecoming – Temple’s homecoming isn’t really the talk of the town – but it wouldn’t hurt for MCPB to branch out every once in a while to show there’s people here other than the rap-rock-loving group.
Tara Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.