Cardi B, the artist well-known for the incredibly popular song “Bodak Yellow,” has taken part in initiating engagement in a competition between colleges nationwide. The competition is in partnership with Tinder, a dating application, and involves a “swipe off” where the school with the most right swipes will get a free concert. The 32 schools still alive after the second round of the competition were announced Monday, and Rutgers made the cut. Today we found out if we are still in the running, as the 16 schools with the least right swipes will be cut from the list. While this competition is all in good fun and is a light-hearted, and frankly funny, way to go about scoring a concert by one of the country’s most famous artists, winning might actually hold more weight for Rutgers than some would think.
On the face the competition looks rather silly and unimportant — and doesn’t random right swiping kind of defeat the purpose of Tinder in the first place? Well, yes. But besides those facts, there are arguably bigger implications when it comes to concerts at our University in general. In the past, visiting performers at Rutgers seem to have, for the most part, come just prior to blowing up and putting out show-stopping albums. For example, Chance the Rapper who came in 2014 and Kendrick Lamar who came in 2011. To show this point, before his 2011 concert on the Banks, Lamar , “New Jersey what up. At Rutgers college bout to rock. Who here?” The post got nine retweets and five likes. That sort of reaction does not exactly display a die-hard following or much excitement on the part of Rutgers students. In contrast, his more recent tweets get thousands of likes and retweets.
Considering the fact that Rutgers is in the process of major growth and expansion, it is about time we host artists not before they blow up, but during their prime. Penn State, who we consider our rival, the 22-time Grammy Award winning Kanye West on his “The Saint Pablo Tour” — most students likely know how huge that album was. Now presumably budget plays a sizeable role in who we are able to book, and obviously Rutgers doesn’t have much money to throw around, but the fact that our concerts are held in the College Avenue Gym definitely does not help. Penn State held their Kanye West concert in the Bryce Jordan Center where they hold their Division I basketball games. Venue is a huge part of this as well, because the more students you have paying for tickets, the bigger your budget can presumably be. For that reason, it seems important to look for new places to hold concerts, such as in High Point Solution Stadium or somewhere outside on campus.
In general, being able to book larger-than-life artists to come and perform at your school while they are in their prime can say a lot about the status of your university. Getting Cardi B to come here would put Rutgers in the limelight, and we deserve that. Schools with enormous budgets such as Harvard and Yale are in the running for this competition, when they probably would not have much trouble paying for her to come on their own. In that sense, we deserve this free concert more than many other schools in the competition. But it is more than just our deserving her performance, it’s that we deserve to be able to show the other top schools in the country that we are worthy of being on par with them in every respect — including who we invite to come here. For that reason, we encourage students to take part in this fun competition and also to call for bigger performers as the University continues to grow.
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