This story was revised on Sept. 28, 2012, to include the clarification that appears at the end.
By Elora Ponter
Budget constraints aroused mixed feelings at Rider after the Student Entertainment Council (SEC) announced six-time BET hip-hop award nominee J. Cole, with opener R& B singer Miguel, will perform at the fall concert on Oct. 18.
Other performers were pursued, according to the SEC Facebook page, but the organization was unsuccessful in obtaining an artist from a genre other than rap. Even so, the SEC is delighted to have them perform at Rider.
“As for the concert, we thought it would be important to share with you all that first, we are really proud and super excited to have great artists, J. Cole and Miguel, to come to a small school like Rider,” said the SEC Facebook page the day after the announcement was made. “As for other genres, we tried multiple different artists, but we didn’t get the commitment [from the others that] we received from J. Cole and Miguel.”
Joyce Suarez, special events chair for the SEC, confirmed these postings. According to Suarez, the process in which an artist is selected has many parts, starting with the end-of-the-year survey that is sent out to Rider students. From the answers provided, data is gathered, including what the campus feels is the best music genre and what the biggest event on campus is, among other things.
From this information, the SEC generates a list of all artists within Rider’s budget and a ranking of favorite music genres. The SEC tries to find performers who match the top-rated genre on campus, but because of monetary constraints this does not always work, according to Suarez.
This year J. Cole falls under the genre of hip-hop/rap, which appeared third on the ranking, but is by no means a consolation prize. J. Cole has earned the honor of having a number one album grace the Billboard 200 Albums of the Year chart in 2011.
News of J. Cole’s impending performance has elicited different reactions from various students.
“I personally love J. Cole,” senior economics major Abigail Yartey said. “But I kind of did want a non- hip-hop performer this year. Oh well, guess everyone needs to start answering those end-of-year surveys.”
Junior elementary education major Erica Hoff thought differently.
“Rider should try and get a band or someone who is actually good at singing and who people like, not just someone with one popular song. We should change it up,” Hoff said.
“If it’s about money, we should have fundraisers. I’m sure students would participate.”
Daisy Rivadeneira, a sophomore radio and TV major, shares Yartey’s love for J. Cole but believes that Rider needs more variety than it has seen in past years. Recent performers include Lupe Fiasco, a hip-hop artist; Jason Derulo, a pop artist; Sean Kingston, another pop artist and The Plain White T’s — who ultimately, because of an illness — did not perform despite being on the Rider campus at the time of the show.
Although technically the past few artists, including J. Cole, do not all fall under the same genre, they are all solo performers who could be found on the same radio station.
Suarez understands the student body’s want for a band to come to Rider, and even shares this desire, but said that at the end of the day the money required to bring one to Rider is not there. Bringing a solo artist cuts the cost substantially because there are fewer people needed to help behind the scenes. If a band were to come to Rider, the amount of people who would need to be paid, which would significantly increase the cost and this puts most bands out of the SEC price range.
In order to respond to other interests, the SEC has decided to bring former X Factor contestants and country group Lakoda Rayne to the Pub on Sept. 29, at 9 p.m.
For now, Rider students get to enjoy J. Cole on Oct. 18, at 9 p.m., in the Student Recreation Center (SRC). Tickets go on sale Oct. 1, and can be picked up using your Rider ID at the ticket booth between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and again from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This story was revised Sept. 28, 2012, to include the following clarification:
In last week’s issue, the article, “Concert Controversy: J.Cole named Rider’s fall concert performer; students respond with mixed emotions,” said that according to a survey conducted by the Student Entertainment Council (SEC) last spring the genre rap was ranked sixth most popular by 621 Rider students who responded. The caption for this story said that hip-hop was voted the top genre in the survey. Actually, the survey listed hip-hop/rap as one category, which came in third.
The correct survey results released this week by Dave Keenan, campus life director, are as follows.
1. Pop – 24.2 percent
2. Rock – 21.9 percent
3. Hip-Hop/Rap – 18.9 percent
4. Alternative – 10.9 percent
5. Other – 9.6 percent
6. Country – 7.6 percent
7. R&B – 6.8 percent.
The SEC notes that when R&B is combined with hip-hop/rap the genres rank first with 25.7 percent.