Filthy lyrics, too much money- why the top vote getters were never an option

Jessie Hellmann

Since Mike Posner was chosen to perform at SpringFest, rumors have circulated around the university about why artists like T-Pain, Snoop Dogg and Ludacris were not coming to perform even though they were the highest voted artists on the ballot.

The answer is because they cost too much money, and their lyrics are “filthy.”

SpringFest is a music festival held by the university every Spring. This will be the tenth year SpringFest has been held.

The SpringFest committee was told to make the ballot like they had the same budget as previous years, said SpringFest Student Co-Director Joe Giannini.


The budget for 2011 was $165,900, said Student Co-Director Holly Roberson.

The committee did not find out until after the ballot was sent to students that their budget would be significantly less than years past due to USI focusing more on education issues, Giannini said.

“We were under the assumption we had $100,000 to play around with,” Giannini said.

“We wouldn’t have put artists like Ludacris or B.o.B. on (the ballot) if we knew we didn’t have that amount of money,” Giannini said.

Last year, SpringFest made no profit to put towards this years SpringFest, resulting in a much lower budget.

With this year’s budget, the committee could afford Mike Posner and 3OH!3. 3OH!3 was ruled out because of their “filthy” lyrics, Giannini said.

Giannini said Provost Ron Rochon, who donated a significant amount of money to SpringFest, told the committee to use its best judgement when choosing the SpringFest artist, and avoid artists whose lyrics were demeaning towards minorities and women.

“’I want it to where my daughter can come to (the concert), and it won’t be awkward,” Giannini quoted Rochon.

Giannini said Rochon doesn’t want an artist to perform who promotes ideals that could lead to a bad self image for young women.

Giannini said Posner was chosen because his lyrics were 100 percent clean, he was ranked 11, and he was within the SpringFest budget.

The university doesn’t want to convey a bad image, Giannini said.

A lot of faculty and community members will bring their children to this concert, and we want to please them as well, he said.

“There are two ways to make money in the music business,” Giannini said. “You can have derogatory lyrics and be liked, or be like Maroon 5 and the Goo Goo Dolls who are not that way but cost 200 grand. You have to find a middle with people, like Mike Posner, who aren’t as well liked.”

He said the committee has to find a middle ground that includes cost, student preference and social responsibility, which was why Posner was the choice for SpringFest.

“I think that the committee should have checked to see who all was available first,” freshman undecided major Allan Herrera said. “The first survey was good because it shows who students want, but after they conduct that survey they should see which artists are available and do another survey based on who is available. To me that makes more sense, and you’ll get someone who the school really wants.”

Sophomore undecided major Jamall Hendricks said whoever got the most votes should have been chosen to perform at SpringFest. He said Mike Posner’s songs are just as “degrading” as Ludacris’.

“It basically looks like it’s a downlook on hip-hop,” Hendricks said. “They never should’ve put them on (the ballot) then if they weren’t going to bring them out in the first place. Lupe (Fiasco) should have won in the first place… Lupe has positive music. He kills it.”

He said students should not have been told the highest vote would come for SpringFest if they were too expensive or “demeaning.”

Freshman exercise science major Terry Williams said it’s “bull” the university can decide what students do or don’t see.

“Why do we even have a survey asking what students want?” he said.

“If (Rochon’s children) are not old enough to even listen to the music that’s on the survey, then why are they even coming to begin with? And if they are juniors or seniors in high school and are old to listen to the music, then it shouldn’t matter,” Williams said.