Binghamton University had a “rockstar” on campus yesterday — but you probably already knew that.
Sponsored by the Student Association Programming Board (SAPB), this year’s annual fall concert was opened by Dave East, a rapper from Harlem, NY, and headlined by Post Malone. All 4,800 available tickets for the concert sold out within 48 hours, marking a record for the SAPB.
Introducing himself as Austin Richard Post, Malone thanked the crowd for “getting lit” with him. The Events Center became a party scene as Malone performed, while sloshing around cups of what he called “apple juice.”
“His interactions with the audience were so cool,” said Danielle Rubin, a sophomore majoring in human development, who was a part of the SAPB team working the event.
While the Events Center staff and Binghamton’s New York State University Police manned security and crowd control, there were also more than 40 members of the University’s student-run ambulance service, Harpur’s Ferry, present during the concert, in addition to two treatment rooms on-site.
Jewelia Vaccaro, a crew chief for Harpur’s Ferry and a senior majoring in integrative neuroscience, said that the Harpur’s Ferry team worked in collaboration with UPD to make safety a priority at the concert.
“This is something we put a lot of preparation and time into,” Vaccaro said. “We have been planning this for months.”
According to a Nov. 16 Pipe Dream article, some tickets for this concert were resold online for over $100. Mariah Tyler, a senior majoring in English, is one of the many BU students who purchased a resale ticket. Tyler paid $50 for hers, double the original $25 general admission price for students. Tyler said this is the first fall concert she’s attended in her four years at the University.
Mika James, fundraising chair for the SAPB and a senior majoring in marketing, said that she was a huge fan of Dave East, and was most excited for his performance. James said she thought the hype around Fetty Wap’s performance at the 2016 fall concert was similar to the anticipation for this year’s show.
“In all honesty, I think people like Fetty Wap also brought a lot of excitement, especially from the local community,” James said. “But this concert definitely has a lot of excitement, students and locals combined.”
Recently, Malone has been under criticism in the media for his comments on hip hop music. On Nov. 20, Newonce, a Polish magazine, released a video interview conducted during Malone’s European tour. In the interview, Malone says, “If you’re looking to cry, if you’re looking to think about life, don’t listen to hip-hop.”
Joshua Gonzalez, vice president of multicultural affairs for the Student Association and a senior majoring in geography, said that he likes some of Malone’s music, but his comments on hip hop complicate the experience of being a fan.
“Hip-hop is about feeling, and telling stories from neighborhoods — he’s someone who’s allowed to maneuver in that space because we let him,” Gonzalez said. “And I don’t think he should be saying certain things about hip-hop if he doesn’t really understand it, let alone if he wants to be that type of artist. He should understand how hip-hop works.”
In addition to his comments in the Newonce interview, Malone has been criticized for other comments on hip-hop music, as well. In 2016, XXL magazine asked Post Malone to be in the running for their “Freshman Class” issue, a popular and often-predictive list of up-and-coming rappers. Among 2016’s picks were rappers 21 Savage and Anderson .Paak — and Dave East. Missing from the list was Malone himself. XXL Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten said in an episode of the radio show “The Breakfast Club” that Malone declined because he said he didn’t want to be pigeonholed into a specific genre. Malone later took to Instagram to contest the truth of Satten’s story.
Malone began his performance last night by acknowledging loved ones and fellow musicians who died too young, including rapper Lil Peep and singer Tom Petty. Through the shouting and, in some cases, crying fans, Malone held onto this humility throughout his set. In emotional closing comments, Malone reminded fans that they, too, could be on the stage one day.
“You think about seeing yourself on a billboard, but you never fucking think it’ll be real,” he said.