To kick off the start of classes, Lambda Chi Alpha hosted a performance by up-and-coming rapper Sam Adams this past Wednesday night. Hoards of freshman and upperclassmen alike came out to celebrate the beginning of another year at Wake Forest, enjoying a warm summer night on Davis Field. Those of age took advantage of free beer, and all were treated to an up close and personal performance by two of rap’s newest acts.
The opening act, NaPalm, and headliner Sammy Adams, aka “Boston’s Boy”, both spring from a new tradition in rap music aimed directly at college-aged students. Their lyrics center on frat parties, hooking-up with chicks, and crushing beers. From their flat brimmed hats to colorful man tanks, everything about these guys is aimed to please a college audience. With many before them, such as Asher Roth and Mike Posner, and surely many more to follow, it’s hard to tell how long these boys will last. They pride themselves on their drinking abilities and their skills with the ladies, so it would seem they’ve found their perfect audience in frat stars and college parties.
But just because we can relate to them, doesn’t mean we have to like them. NaPalm opened with a fierce set of catchy, aggressive, and often misogynistic pop-rap songs that had the crowd jumping along, hesitantly. Sam Adams followed with several of his hits, including “I Hate College,” “Driving Me Crazy,” and “Coast to Coast.” And that was pretty much it. Maybe it’s because they’re so close to my own age and our generation expects more from our peers, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into it. In this day and age, where youth is valued above almost all else, we’ve come to expect a lot from young acts, especially those who claim to identify directly with the college-aged population. You can rip apart Justin Bieber, but don’t touch Justin Timberlake. After the show, the general consensus seemed to be that the audience had been let down: “he tried too hard,” “he was rapping over his own tapes,” and of course a couple, “he’s not even that cute.”
Suffice it to say, tough crowd; but despite the criticism, nothing beats live music on campus, and I look forward to more concerts in the future. Keep your eyes peeled for more events like this coming up, and don’t miss Lupe Fiasco’s performance scheduled for Homecoming Weekend at Joel Coliseum. Let’s hope Lupe will be able to bring something to the table these college boys couldn’t.