Does entertainment make or break homecoming? – The Famuan

The headliners of the FAMU Homecoming concert are the City Girls and Latto.
Photo credit: homecomingatfamu.com

When green and orange flags line the entire campus, followed by the highest of the seven
hills with the spirit of October, it should only mean one thing: Homecoming.

The anticipation for reunion week and the festivities it brings is unlike any other.
The FAMU Student Government Association allocates a significant portion of its annual budget
budget to organize venues, book special guests, hire a variety of companies and
advertising this event on a multitude of platforms.

The leaders of the SGA and the members of the committee strive year after year to prepare a
a comeback as grand as the last for all involved, which is no small feat. The
weight of this annual event rests on their shoulders.

Celebrity appearances during reunion week are just as important, if not more so
than actual events. Comedian(s) invited to Wednesday’s comedy show
night at the convocation guest speaker for Friday morning, FAMU Twitter, gossip blogs
and Rattlers near and far are anxious every year for the publication of the names of these
people.

The annual reunion concert is highly praised by students, alumni and fans of the
selected artists performing that year. For the Homecoming 2022 concert, FAMU
released the list of artists who would perform, including The City Girls, Latto,
Seddy Hendrix and Eli Derby.

Initially, FAMU planned to feature The City Girls, Latto and Lil Poppa; however, Lil
Poppa was removed from the return concert lineup for reasons
Unexpectedly.

Kiarra Webb, a senior African-American studies student from Broward County, says
she is thrilled with the homecoming concert lineup and is especially looking forward to
a particular artist.

“I’m delighted to see Seddy Hendrix. I wouldn’t say he’s a local artist, but he’s definitely
underestimated. If you’re from Jacksonville, you probably know who he is,” Webb said.

While some students are happy with the performers for the concert, others are less than
delighted and voiced their grievances via social media.
“They should have booked all the FAMU artists,” Twitter user @osamabingritty said.

Other Rattlers lack strong ideas on specific artist selection, but are more
interested in why a greater variety of artists are not renewed from year to year.

Senior music industry student Reggie Willis thinks there are so many more options for
artists of your choice.
“As a musician, I would like them to choose a few artists who sing R&B and pop. Ari
Lennox, Jhene Aiko would be really cool. And by no means am I crazy, I’m just saying,
there is more there; there are more choices,” Willis said.

So that students can express their opinions on how they believe going home
must be planned, obstacles invisible to the public eye stand in the way of
whipping the hottest artists across the charts in no time.

SGA Vice President Makira Burns says she wants more people to be understood
that this year’s reunion planning committee didn’t have many options due to
budget cuts.

“FAMU usually spends $100,000 on the gig alone. Due to the effects of the pandemic,
FAMU reduced our budget, and we had $100,000 left for the whole
homecoming budget,” Burns said.

She said the committee was deliberating on scrapping the concert of the week
totally agenda. Zachary Bell, the chairman of the SGA, said they were advocates of the
gig and didn’t let that happen.

Elections for the President and Vice-President of the SGA do not take place until March, which is
approximately four months before the start of homecoming planning. Many artists have their
concert program already solidified even before the announcement of the election results, which makes
much more difficult entertainment choices.

“People say we never see R&B artists, but these people are on tour at the moment it’s
it’s time to prepare for the trip home,” Burns said.

There are many additional events and incentives created exclusively for
homecoming that sets it apart from an average football weekend at FAMU. From
Marching 100 performing at a packed Bragg Memorial Stadium for the Divine Nine
sororities and fraternities doing whatever it takes for the trophy and bragging rights to
the step shows victory; a successful return does not only depend on the outside
entertainers. Luckily FAMU is an HBCU which has a football team which is the glue of the
full week.

Universities without a football team, such as Xavier University in New Orleans, have more
weighing on their comeback concert lineup given they don’t have a soccer ball
crew.

Mass Communication Student Scott Lipscomb Says He Doesn’t Have a Football Team
really challenges them to create a unique coming home experience.

“We rely on guests to get people excited for the week. Our return is motivated by
our concert and boat ride and tailgate. My freshman year, we had Rico Nasty who, at the
time, was not yet as big in the South which had mixed reviews. Last year Flo Milli was
more popular with the student body had better excitement for the week,” Lipscomb said.

Personal preferences and opinions of viewers are expected, however, is a
a particular artist performing at a singular event makes or breaks an entire week filled with
festivities?

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