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Homecoming artist announcement generates mixed reactions

Rapper Gunna was chosen to be this year’s homecoming concert headliner, alongside rapper Bryce Vine as the opener. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

As October approaches, students have high expectations for the week-long Homecoming celebration, especially regarding the artists chosen to perform at the homecoming concert.

Through an online survey available to students at the beginning of September, the American rapper Gunna was chosen to be this year’s homecoming concert headliner, alongside rapper Bryce Vine as the opener. Students reacted with mixed reviews after the Campus Activities Board (CAB) announced the artists Sept. 16.

Jimmy Luu, a junior majoring in business advertising, said he is not going to go as he has never heard about the artist before.

“I don’t know the two artists that will be performing at the homecoming concert, so for me, I’m just not ‘gunna’ go,” Luu joked. “I would probably go if there was another artist but I’m not willing to pay for the tickets to see someone that I don’t know.”

Ashley Leal, a freshman majoring in pre-nursing, said that even though Gunna it’s not as well known as other rap artists in the industry, he is still popular among students.

“I’m excited about the concert and I think it’s going to be lit,” Leal said. “I think the artist are great and fresh. They aren’t that big but a lot of people my age like them.”

Famously known for the release of ‘Oh Okay’ with rappers Lil Baby and Young Thug, Gunna has been active in the music industry since 2013 with the release of the mixtape Hard Body as Yung Gunna.

Syed Hasan, a sophomore majoring in psychology, said he is looking forward to the concert even though he is not familiar with songs by Gunna.

“I feel good about the homecoming concert in general,” Hasan said. “Last year, they brought Rae Sremmurd and it was really fun. This year, I’m also looking forward to it.”

Brandon Paryag, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, said he expects a large turn out from both students and non-USF guests with Gunna as the headliner.

“Gunna is going to be a next level of lit,” Paryag said. “I expect a great performance that will have the crowd moving to songs like ‘Baby Birken’ and ‘Drip Too Hard.’ He is an up and coming artist and the protégé of a legend in the game, Young Thug. I’m looking forward to the concert.”

The concert will take place on Oct. 10 at the Yuengling Center starting at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are available to students for $10 (including fees), one student-guest tickets for $15 and non-student tickets for $25 (plus fees). Students will have to present their USF ID with their student ticket at the entrance to get in.

Connor Kasprik, a sophomore majoring in marketing, said that he has high expectations for the concert following last year’s performance by Rae Sremmurd.

“I’m excited to see Gunna, he’s obviously a well-known rapper and I think he will bring a lot of energy and get the crowd going,” Kasprik. “Rae Sremmurd was a lot of fun last year so I definitely have high expectations for this year’s concert as well.”

Victoria Campana, a sophomore majoring in global business, attended last year’s homecoming concert and, based on that experience, she hoped that this year’s headliner would be something different than rap.

“I don’t really know Gunna but from past experience of last year’s homecoming concert, I feel that they bring too many rap artists,” Campana said. “I think they need to mix it up and have a diversity upon that. I don’t know Gunna nor any of his songs so I don’t think it’s worth my money.”

The survey sent out over the summer allowed students to choose their preferred performers among a list of more than 30 artists, including Gunna.

For Marco Terron-Barreto, a junior majoring in integrative animal biology, CAB should bring more recognized artists as a way to spread recognition about USF.

“If we want to spread the good word about USF, we must hold preeminent events,” Terron-Barreto said. “The homecoming concert is one of the most anticipated events of the year and the one that gets the most social media coverage. If we bring more recognized artists, even if we have to charge students a higher price to attend, we will have more positive feedback. 

“If we had more popular artists I am sure that students would pay $5 to $20 to get a ticket to see any of the artists in the original survey. If they still can’t bring more popular artists, then they shouldn’t make the survey with artists that they can’t bring.”

While many students are unfamiliar with Gunna, that’s not stopping them from planning to attend the event.

Recently reported by The Oracle, Gunna is expected to be paid $75,000 to perform at the homecoming concert. Student tickets went on sale during the week of Sept. 16 while tickets for alumni, staff and faculty will go on sale during the week of Sept. 23.

“To me, it’s not only about the artist but the people and friends that will go as well,” Hasan said. “Other than that, I think it will be fun and I’m looking forward to a great concert.”