In what appears to be an effort to create a more diverse line-up for the Virginia Tech free concert on Sept. 6, university officials have allowed popular hip-hop artist Nas to perform. Not only was this decision inappropriate in the first place, it is disturbing that the university has not yet remov
Editor's note: The original version of this story quoted SGA President Adeel Khan as saying that the Black Student Alliance requested that Nas be added to the Concert for Virginia Tech. BSA President Portia Galloway has since told the Collegiate Times that this is not true. Khan has also confirmed that his comments were inaccurate. We apologize for the error. The university announced that Dave Matthews Band came up with the list of performers to play at the concert at Virginia Tech on Sept. 6. The university approved of the decision.
While it is has been reported that at least seven families of victims disapprove of Nas' lyrics, which praise gun violence, Alicia Ferrell is the only one to comment publicly. Ferrell claimed that the content in Nas' songs doesn't belong at a concert intended to help a healing community- and she is absolutely right.
On his most recent album, "Hip-Hop is dead" Nas sings lines such as: "See that's malarky you yappin'/ I open up the tripod to put the gatling on, and I start clappin." On one of his older albums, the lyrics to a popular song are "Shoot 'em up, just shoot 'em up, what? Kill, kill, kill, murder, murder, murder."
It is hard to imagine our school officials not foreseeing this problem when they agreed to let a rapper known for violent lyrics perform, however the simple fact remains: the performance of songs that glorify murder do not belong at a concert for the friends and families of murder victims.
It should be applauded that an attempt was made to diversify the performers; this is indeed a concert for the entire Virginia Tech community, not just fans of Dave Matthews or John Mayer. However, they made a poor choice in approving Nas.
If the university wanted to include an African-American performer, it would have been wiser to approve one whose lyrics were appropriate for a concert intended to help a community heal.
Nas' violent lyrics are a vehicle for expressing the culture he comes from, and he has the right as an artist to explore whatever issues he chooses. On another date, Nas would have been warmly welcomed on campus, and would not have created such a problem. This concert, however, is intended to help the healing process and remember those we lost. It is asinine for Virginia Tech to ignore the pleas of the victim's families to have him removed from the concert.
While hip-hop has an established place in our society, that place is not Lane Stadium on Sept. 6.