By JAY EVANS
On March 19, an event occurred on the Piedmont College campus that set a precedent. For the first time in history, a hip-hop concert occurred on the campus of Piedmont College. In addition, this was the first time that a student-run event was funded by the college. I worked very closely with Mrs. Natalie Crawford and Dr. Dale Van Cantfort to make sure that “Jam in the Sham” was a success. In my eyes, it was nothing short of spectacular. I took a dream that I saw nearly four years ago and turned it into reality. I booked four artists whom I felt appealed to the Piedmont College student body, and around 100 students came out to the Arrendale Amphitheater for the event. It was easily one of the greatest nights of my life, and one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to.
Despite this, there are some aspects of the event that I must apologize for. In the contractual stage of the event, I made agreements with the artists and administration that the show needed to be “clean” in nature. Hip-hop music is typically not free from vulgar language and profanity, and the show was no exception. There were vulgar uses of language that were derogatory towards an entire gender, and profanity- laced lyrics and chants that involved the crowd. As someone who has been to many hip-hop concerts, I knew that no matter what the contracts said, the artists would perform their show as usual. It is for this language that I must apologize. I sincerely hope that the performance did not offend anyone who was in attendance. I also apologize directly to the Piedmont College administration that I worked closely with, as the concert was not what they expected it to be. Did I intend for that to happen? Absolutely not, but I regret breaking the trust of those who helped me so much. I must apologize also to the Piedmont College Mass Communications Department and my fellow capstone seniors for “embarrassing our program with such behavior.”
However, I have no regrets for bringing hip-hop music onto the campus of Piedmont College. In the hours following the concert, nearly everyone who attended the concert described the event as “a success,” “a great night for all who attended,” and “one of the best nights I’ve had at Piedmont.” The artists I booked even said that it was “one of the best and most well-planned concerts they’ve ever been a part of,” and headlining act Scotty ATL said that the “Piedmont College student body was a great crowd to perform for,” and that he “hoped to return again soon.” Social media was buzzing with what a great concert it was, whether it was from the students or the artists. As a 21-year-old college senior who created the event from scratch, I am proud. Very, very proud.
In my four years at Piedmont, I have always heard the constant complaints of students “who have nothing to do on this campus.”
For one night, I made it possible for a student body to let loose and have a good time. Piedmont College is progressing. The student body is different than that of even five years ago. I brought 100 students together, and they all left with a smile on their face. I created an event from scratch, marketed the event, raised the money to make it happen and turned a dream into reality. Instead of complaining about the lack of on-campus entertainment, I took it upon myself to do something about it. I do not apologize for the event itself, simply the content. I am very proud to be a Piedmont College Lion, and as a result of the event, hopefully soon a Piedmont College alumni.