This year’s Homecoming concert will feature not one, but two artists: Charles Hamilton and Rhymefest. The concert will be held in Lasell Gymnasium on Friday, Nov. 1 and will be free for students because the bookings were cheaper than anticipated.
Like last year’s performer, Little Brother, both Charles Hamilton and Rhymefest are relatively unknown hip-hop artists. Hamilton is from Cleveland, Ohio, while Rhymefest hails from Chicago, Ill.
The path to choosing and booking an artist this year was not easy, noted Brian Shepherd Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ11, who is in charge of the major All-Campus Entertainment (ACE) concerts this year. “We started by getting advice from students on what bands to choose,” said Shepherd, who has been helping plan concerts since last year’s Third Eye Blind Spring Fling concert. “I had a legendary WSO [Williams Student Online] thread of student input.”
Using a student-generated list of names, Shepherd and his fellow concert planners checked on band availability and prices. The total budget for this year’s concert is roughly $8000, so the concert committee was excited when Rhymefest and hip-hop, rap and soul artist Asher Roth, each originally listed at around $7000, agreed to play together for $7500, a sum they will split evenly.
Due to managerial issues, Asher Roth had to drop out at the end of last month, leaving ACE scrambling to find a new act. “It was either them being pulled by their managers, or us letting them back out, so we had to let them go,” Shepherd said.
The ACE committee then e-mailed students and updated the WSO posting to search for the best complement to Rhymefest, the Grammy Award-winning co-writer of Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks.”
Using student input, the committee decided to stick to less high-profile artists so that they would still have money for an outside DJ. They turned to a list of the top three rap and hip-hop artists without an album. Of those on the list, Hamilton proved the most popular among students on campus, and was booked for roughly $3000. He is described on his MySpace page as “Musician. Producer. Songwriter. Lyricist. Psycho. Hippie. Genius.”