Grammy-nominated rapper Big Sean will headline spring Lawnparties, Undergraduate Student Government social committee chair Simon Wu ’17 announced in Frist Campus Center Food Gallery on Tuesday night.
Hip-hop singer Luke Christopher and pop singer Alus from Montville, N.J., will provide the opening acts, he added.
Big Sean’s most recent album, “Dark Sky Paradise,” topped the Billboard 200 chart earlier in March.He signed with Kanye West’s GOOD music in 2007 and has collaborated with multiple artists including Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Rap Song category in 2013 for “Mercy.”
Luke Christopher, a Los Angeles native, debuted in 2012 with his mixtape “TmrwTmrw” and has since released another, “TmrwTmrwPt. II.”
Alus declined a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in 2012 and signed with Water Music Publishing. Her debut album, “Alustrious,” was released in 2014, and she recently released a hip-hop single, “Ordinary Girl.”
The two opening act artists came as a part of the package offered by Big Sean’s agent.
“[Big Sean was selected] as a response to campus sentiment for more famous acts in addition to [acts of] high quality,” USG president Ella Cheng '16 said.
Students on the whole were excited by the announcement.
"This is the best thing," Wilglory Tanjong '18 said, noting that alot of people of various backgrounds on campus listen to Big Sean."Given the response — some people were screaming and really happy — I think it's a good option."
Christian Perry '16 said he thought the announcement of Big Sean was especially exciting since Big Sean had just released a new album.
"I wasn't really that big of a Big Sean fan before that album," he said. "I heard that, I started getting more hooked to Big Sean ... I'm going to write my entire [junior paper] tonight just so I can have the rest of the time to prepare for Lawnparties."
Tomi Johnson '16 said Big Sean's music was relevant because he was in his prime and his music is widely played on the radio and used in dance groups.
"After five Lawnparties where we've kind of been a little disappointed, I think this is the best thing that could happen," she said. "I don't have to text my friends who are coming to visit and be like, 'Never mind.' "
Kayla Moffett '18 said she doesn't listen to Big Sean's music but was excited by Lawnparties in general.
Through a post-event survey conducted last year, the USG social committee learned that students showed little preference for the performances’ genre but great demand for the artists’ fame, Cheng said.
“People had high expectations and it’s hard, sometimes, to convey the limitations,” she said.
Despite getting a big name this year, USG’s budget is limited compared to other schools, Wu said.
“The process of looking for an artist involved going back and forth with agents and picking availability and price,” he said.
The committee originally had a budget of $65,000 for the spring Lawnparties, $50,000 of which will be devoted to the main act, compared to Yale’s $180,000 budget for its equivalent function, Cheng noted.
Though Big Sean would normally be infeasible by USG budget, his agent offered a reduced price because Big Sean will be performing in the area around the time of Lawnparties, Wu said. Nonetheless, inviting Big Sean stretched normal expenditures, necessitating a $15,000 addition to the Lawnparties budget.
This increase was offset by USG budget surpluses left from past semesters, Cheng explained.
Cheng had asked for a $79,000 budget request for spring Lawnparties, according to aFeb. 8articlein The Daily Princetonian.
The selection of artists is not guided by personal taste, Wu noted, adding thatthe social committee talked to a diverse group of agents.
To make Lawnparties more convenient for students, dining halls will offer brunch beginning at10 a.m.on the day of Lawnparties rather than the usual11 a.m., Cheng said.
In addition to the guest artists, the winner of this year’s “Battle of the Bands” will also be featured as an opening act to kick off the performances. The competition will feature performances by 11 student bands and will take place on April 17.
News editor Jacob Donnelly contributed reporting.