Pantherpalooza has arrived

After weeks of anticipation, thousands of ticket sales and countless promotional tweets, Pantherpalooza is finally here. With his number one album “good kid, m.A.A.d city” on the shelves, headlining artist Kendrick Lamar took over Georgia State months before stepping onto campus.

Pantherpalooza is Georgia State’s second annual spring concert, featuring the most popular musical acts and several genres of music. Spotlight’s Concert Director Karon Franklin said this year’s concert is much bigger than last year’s event. 

“The show sold out in four days, and we reached capacity at about 3,700 students,” Franklin said. “The timing of the concert is perfect, because the headlining artist is very popular right now. He put out a great album simultaneous to the time that we wanted to bring an artist here. When people have the chance to see an artist with a number one album, it’s perfect.”

Music Director of Campus Events, Sha-Mara Reeves, agreed with Franklin, noticing the difference in sales for this year’s event.

“Last year we had several smaller artists, now we have two main acts in Kendrick Lamar and Elle Varner,” Reeves said. “This year is more focused towards hip-hop and R&B. The event is definitely bigger. Last year we didn’t sell out at all.”

Reeves said the planning and coordinating of the event was a lengthy, yet necessary process.

“We’ve been working on coordinating Pantherpalooza since August. Picking the artists is a long process; we researched who to book based off of student opinions and polls,” she said. “We made sure the artists were tailored towards the student desires. We also didn’t want to book artists that clashed in styles.”

Although finding artists that appealed to the Georgia State student body was a rigorous process, Franklin is confidence in the musical line-up.

“Elle Varner, Kendrick Lamar and his DJ, Ali, are the confirmed acts,” Franklin said. “The show will probably go from 8 p.m. to about 11:30 p.m.. Kendrick Lamar will have a full 60-minute set, so students will be getting their money’s worth. As long as the crowd keeps it energy, we’ll be alright.”

Reeves said there is a mutual anticipation on both sides, from the student body to Kendrick Lamar himself. Lamar actually had several recording sessions for the album in Atlanta, at the infamous Patchwerk Studios.

“A majority of the students I talked to were really excited,” Reeves said. “Kendrick loves Atlanta as well. He’s been doing shows here at Emory and at the University of Georgia in the past few weeks. Atlanta is the national hub for music right now, and that definitely appeals to him.”

With the date of the concert quickly approaching, students have been very vocal expressing their excitement. Freshman Brianna Cheeks said there is a high level of anticipation as well as expectation.

“It’s a very good look for Georgia State to book him,” Cheeks said. “Kendrick Lamar is very hot right now, so he should deliver a great show. He’s in my top ten in terms of rappers, and I have high expectations. Hopefully this will be the best event of the year.”

Lamar’s layered lyrical style and incomprehensible talent for storytelling makes it hard for even the toughest rap critic to dislike him, but Reeves said his appeal transcends mere lyricism.

“Kendrick Lamar is a very conscious rapper. He is a lot different from anyone else rapping,” Reeves said. “He’s very personable and seems to know how a lot of people feel about things. He’s a kid inside, and everyone has a kid inside of them. Kendrick’s music is deeper than most. He gives more of a 90s feel in his music. It’s real hip-hop that is so layered and deep”.

Franklin said Lamar’s style is very easy to relate to as well.

“He comes from a situation that many people can relate to. He’s a genuine artist, and genuine artists will always be accepted,” Franklin said.

Freshman Jalea Brooks agreed that Lamar’s style is very attractive to students.

“His music is very catchy. His style is different from a lot of mainstream rap, so I think that’s what makes him very likeable,” Brooks said. “He has a large appeal because so prominent now. Being in an urban setting at Georgia State makes his style of music very popular to our students”