The more than 1,500 students gathered on H Street Saturday afternoon for Spring Fling were all “niggas,” according to performer Busta Rhymes, who rapped for longer than an hour mixing in messages of love for all races.
Rhymes was a crowd-pleaser as he quipped with students in the audience and acted out skits to show off his fast rapping style and reference the joys of drinking and smoking marijuana.
Students started to pack in front of the stage between the Academic Center and Gelman Library as early as 2:15 p.m. to get a good view of the Rhymes concert then an hour away. More students watched from terraces and bridges on the Academic Center.
The crowd sang along with Rhymes’ rapping and laughed at his often-vulgar dialogue between songs as he instructed men in the audience how to better perform anal sex. Some female students laughed, while others turned their heads in disgust. Hands soared in the air as Rhymes played hit songs like “Break Yo’ Neck, ” “Fire it Up,” “Woo-hah,” “Dangerous” and “Anarchy.”
Almost 4,000 students spread throughout Kogan Plaza and the Quad for free barbeque, a chance to soak GW student leaders in a dunk tank, ride a plastic bull operated by fraternity members and enjoy student and professional music.
In order to accommodate sponsor booths without disrupting Law School reading week, the Program Board spread the event, usually held on the Quad, to Kogan Plaza and H Street, said PB Concerts Chair Josh Bhatti.
PB worked with promotional company U.S. Concepts to bring free goods for students to the event.
The city closed H Street for the second straight weekend after protests
near campus caused security concerns April 20-21.
“It was a challenge to do it right on the street, because it was closed last week with the protests, and getting clearing for it was hard again,” Bhatti said.
While some students said they enjoyed the louder acoustics of H Street, others said they would have preferred a more centrally located event.
“It was a new thing, having it in both the Quad and Kogan, and I liked it better when it was in one place because there was more of a concentration of students,” sophomore Sung Lee said.
Senior Matthew Patashnik said he would have liked for all the events to be moved to Kogan Plaza.
“I understand that the law students need to work, but I think it would have been better if it was just all on Kogan,” he said. “The Quad just didn’t seem to get enough students to come.”
Security checkpoints at Spring Fling entrances helped Program Board minimize the large numbers of non-GW students that Busta Rhymes attracted.
Spring Fling continued a trend of rap groups after The Roots performed at last year’s event. Bhatti said PB was unable to attract rock groups because “a lot of rock groups go to the 9:30 club.”
He added, “Getting Busta was a challenge, but we wanted someone big
Bhatti said he expected about 4,000 to 5,000 students to be at the event, similar to the 4,800 who attended Fall Fest, featuring Redman.
Student bands Starsixnine, Stepanian, Alcove Kids and Nine Stories Up played before hundreds of students in the early afternoon.
“The amateur bands have been playing some chill music, but I’m really waiting for Busta Rhymes,” freshman Andrew Dualan said.
Starsixnine bass player Dave Penneys said it was a “great opportunity to get our music out in such a friendly college atmosphere.”
“Phenom,” a GW junior, rapped for the crowd alongside the Secret Society, which recently opened for Nelly at the 9:30 club.