Kelley James, Shwayze and Lil Jon rolled through Tech last Thursday, Sept. 2 for a free concert in the Howey Physics parking lot sponsored by Muscle Milk and Oakley.
It was organized by the Student Center Programs Council (SCPC). Many students heard of the concert only hours before it began. The day of the concert, Muscle Milk aggressively advertised the event by giving away free t-shirts and Muscle Milk drinks.
At quarter intervals throughout the concert, Muscle Milk was still giving away drinks up until the end of the concert.
“[My committee and I] worked directly with Muscle Milk and Oakley to bring the tour to campus…. [SCPC is] all about bringing events to campus,” said Scott Gamble, SCPC concerts committee chair and fourth-year ME major.
“That’s one of the problems that’s always faced students… we do our best to get out as many students as possible, but it comes to a point where we can put it on Facebook, we can put it on flyers, we can have banners, posters, but if students aren’t paying attention to the advertisement we do, we can’t put it in their face anymore,” Gamble said in response to comments that the event wasn’t well publicized.
The night opened up with Kelley James, an acoustic artist with a flair for freestyle rapping spontaneously during his performances.
“People always ask me what are my favorite cities and Atlanta’s always on the top of the list. For me…I’ve always been influenced by hip hop…..I really respect the scene,” James said.
It’s clear that James, arguably the least known among the three part act, has developed a burgeoning fan base at Tech. After the concert, James played a packed late night session at fraternity Phi Delta Theta.
Next up was Shwayze, a west coast hip-hop acoustic group made up of Aaron Smith (“Shwayze”- rapper) and Cisco Adler (producer, musician and songwriter).
The group had the crowd jumping with shirt throwing, sweat filled, feel-the-bass, stage jumping antics and the duo was rapping on top of eclectically gathered music samplings. Shwayze commented on the nature of the industry by talking about his recently released free mixtape.
“As musicians, we’re constantly making music, but because of the labels and all these things sometimes it takes a long time for the music to get out. Sometimes we just put out the music for free, and I’m sure that pisses them off, but that’s what we do at the end of the day, we want the kids to have the music, especially the college kids [or] Georgia Tech or anywhere. We know a lot of kids download the music for free so instead of trying to fight it, we give it to them for free, so they can come to the show and sing along with us,” Shwayze said.
Shwayze stuck it to the man and put his money where his mouth was, releasing another free mixtape entitled Love Stoned under his name Aaron Smith four days later on Tuesday, Sept. 7.
Last up was Lil’ Jon, the Atlanta based producer, rapper and DJ. Unfortunately, this finale proved to be bittersweet. Many Tech students came in droves to see Lil’ Jon’s performance, but it ended up being just a few minutes of hearing him DJ. It was clear that the audience was disappointed as many began pouring out of the concert soon after.
It’s safe to say that Lil’ Jon is a highly talented studio producer, but a lackluster live performer. Ben Townsend, first-year ARCH major, said“It was kind of a lame DJ set, I expected more.”
Perpetually a producer and entrepreneur, he owns businesses including CRUNK!!! energy drink, Little Jonathon Winery, his own line of Oakley sunglasses and a Smyrna recording studio. Asked what’s next, Lil Jon replied “Just doing these records, working hard on the album, blowing the album up, I’m all over the world DJ’ing.”