CPAB brings J. Cole to campus for spring concert
The lights dimmed and students rushed out of their seats, jumping over gates and running past security guards, getting as close to the stage as they possibly could. The audience screamed and waved their hands as J. Cole walked on stage.
J. Cole was hosted by the Cultural Programing Advisory Board (CPAB) on Tuesday. Tickets went on sale April 9, when students lined up starting at 7:00 a.m.
J. Cole sang several well-known songs, including “Work Out,” “She Knows” and “Lights Please.” In the middle of his performance, he stopped to speak to the audience.
“I just wanna say I appreciate each and every one of ya’ll for coming out to this tonight on a Tuesday night when ya’ll got class and 7:30’s,” Cole says. “I know the deal. This makes us friends, we friends now.”
J. Cole had other interactions with the audience as well. From jumping off the stage to high-fiving students, he says everyone there was like family to him.
Although seats and even sections of the stadium were empty, those students who attended were singing and dancing the entire night. A security guard was even holding his phone up in the air swaying to the beat of the music.
After he was finished, the students began to chant “encore.” J. Cole came back on stage to perform both “Crooked Smile” and “Power Trip” wearing a University of Delaware sweatshirt, which got the crowd clapping and screaming.
To keep the ticket distribution process orderly, students were given a raffle ticket and told to stay in the Trabant multipurpose room while waiting to in line. Once their number was called, the students could go to the box office to purchase their ticket. The line continued for the entire day of April 9, bringing students who had a lot to say about the concert.
Sophomore Harry Thomas says J. Cole has a great variety of music because he is not just a rapper.
“J. Cole was a great choice because he can relate to a lot of students,” Thomas says. “I’m a little annoyed at the ticket price, but I still think it’s worth it to see him.”
Last year, spring concert tickets were 23 dollars. The price more than doubled this year, as the student ticket price for this spring’s concert was 37 dollars per ticket.
Junior Shantel Dixon says she loves J. Cole, but was upset about the way tickets were distributed.
“I was waiting online for over an hour, and the raffle was annoying because people who were coming in after me were getting tickets first,” Dixon says.
Still other students walked right by the line, not looking to buy tickets.
Freshman Nick Monaco says he was not happy by the choice of artist and the university needs to bring different types of performers.
“We need an EDM act, rap just isn’t cutting it anymore,” Monaco says.
N’Kosi Oates, president of CPAB, says the board holds a variety of events that students can look forward to throughout the year. Besides the spring concert, Oates says they have a block party, lectures, a comedy show, a smaller fall concert and an end of the semester stress reliever.
Last year, CPAB brought Kendrick Lamar for the spring concert, and earlier this year Luke James performed.
CPAB was founded in 1980 as part of the Center for Black Culture. Oates says CPAB is much more than just an advisory board.
“We exist to provide social, educational and cultural activities for the students at the university, particularly African-American students,” Oates says.
Oates described the process that goes into getting an artist for the spring concert. He says they start many months in advance, and they try to figure out who the students want to perform.
When asked about the increase of the cost of the ticket, Oates says CPAB does everything they can to make sure the concert is affordable to students.
“We are not in the business where we want to make a profit,” Oates says. “It is not a thing where we are trying to be greedy and support CPAB.”
Oates says last year’s concert was highly successful, and he hopes the community will react in the same positive way to J. Cole.
“I want our community to really feel validated for the culture that they inherited,” he says. “That really is the mantra for us.”
A previous version of the article said that CPAB is part of the center for black studies, but they are actually part of the Center for Black Culture.
The previous version of the article also said last spring’s concert tickets were $15, but they were actually $23. The article was also edited more accurately explain the ticket distribution system.