The University will not be changing its standard security procedures for this weekend’s Spring Fling featuring rapper Lloyd Banks, planners said, despite the violence and controversy associated with his rap group.
“(Banks) has had 25 to 30 college shows and had zero incidents,” said Eric Wiegand, executive vice chair of Program Board. “We definitely did our homework.”
Spring Fling typically features rap acts – Red Man, Jurassic 5 have performed on University Yard in past years. Banks is a member of rap superstar 50 Cent’s group G-Unit. Banks’ lyrics mention the joy of shooting people and his disgust with authority.
A fight erupted after a Feb. 27 Banks show in a New Haven, Conn., club, according to Yale’s student newspaper, The Yale Daily News. The newspaper, in a March 1 article, quoted officials as saying Banks had nothing to do with the incident, but several patrons said he was involved.
PB had originally considered booking rapper The Game but ultimately ruled him out because “he was completely out of control,” Wiegand said. The Game was formerly a member of 50 Cent’s record label, also called G-Unit, and was engaged in a feud with 50 Cent and the rest of the G-Unit squad. The Game and the group recently declared a truce.
In February, before the feud was resolved, a member of The Game’s entourage was wounded in a shooting outside New York radio station Hot 97. The shooting occurred while 50 Cent was on the air, announcing that he was dropping The Game from G-Unit.
PB’s concert chair, Amy Schulmann, acknowledged the violent history of G-Unit but said that since Banks is coming alone, his group’s past should not be cause for concern.
“A few weeks ago there was an incident with 50 Cent, but 50 Cent isn’t coming,” she said.
Young Buck, another member of G-Unit, has pleaded innocent to an assault charge for allegedly stabbing a man at last year’s Vibe Music Awards, according to The Associated Press.
Schulmann said that constant University Police patrols and student volunteers in the stage area will serve as security measures that should prevent or quickly address any disturbance. Traditionally there are about nine UPD officers who patrol the event. UPD also barricades H Street between 21st and 20th streets for the show, which will take place Saturday in University Yard beginning at 3 p.m.
PB is spending twice as much money on Spring Fling this year compared to years past, party chair Joshua Hartman said. In addition to Banks, there will be a skydiving simulator, an oxygen bar, massages and a rock-climbing wall.