An act like Drake doesn't come to Syracuse every day

Before you react to the announcement, put Drake's SU date in perspective.

There are two days to annually mark in your calendar as a Syracuse University student who cares about music - the second Sunday in September (Juice Jam) and the last weekend in April (Block Party).

Juice Jam has continued to impress in the past few years.  It's been headlined by combos like Girl Talk/The Cool Kids, White Rabbits/Third Eye Blind and Ra Ra Riot/Talib Kwali/Bloc Party (on their first US college show no less). Block Party on the other hand...

Well, let's say there wasn't a ton of anticipation for today's announcement:

"Drake Chosen to Headline Block Party."

Wait, what? That's not bad at all.  Even exciting, right?

Drake is one of the hottest up-and-comers in rap music and a rising cultural icon. Consider the facts:  

1) Drake was asked to be an assistant coach for this year's NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game (maybe inspired by his performance int he "Best I Ever Had" video?)

2) Drake's featured in a Sprite commercial you've seen at least 50 times.

3) Drake was nominated for some Grammys and performed at the awards this year. 

All of this is before Drake even released his first album.

So why on Earth was there a feeling of "so what" on campus this afternoon?  (Two of the three comments on the original D.O. story are negative and there were plenty of Tweets questioning the headliner choice too).

Take a look at the Block Party acts since 2004:

2005: Snoop Dogg w/ Oowee

2006: Kanye West w/ Rhymefest

2007: Ciara, Lupe Fiasco (pre- "Superstar") and TV On The Radio (pre-"Dear Science")

2008: Fergie w/ Sean Kingston

2009: Ben Folds w/ Guster

Drake by himself is easily the second best of the bunch (and any campus promoters would be hard pressed to top Kanye in 2006).  Relative unknowns k-os and Francis and The Lights may not jump off the screen and grab your attention, but take a listen and you could be intrigued. Those two seem like a package deal with Drake considering they're on every other date of his college tour. There's still one more act on the bill to come directly from UU. If they delivered on Drake, there's reason to believe they'll deliver on someone else included in the survey they released earlier this year.

(Recall the UU Survey choices...

Headliners: Common, Kid Cudi, Ludacris, MGMT, Modest Mouse, Mos Def, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Drake,  Weezer

Sideacts: 3OH!3, Cobra Starship, Keri Hilson, LMFAO, Lykee Li, Miike Snw, Passion Pit, Pitbull, The Dream)

Give UU some credit for grabbing an extremely relevant act that garnered some support through their campus polls even if Drake isn't your top choice given what might have been from this survey. I'll be honest, I was pulling hard for the Phoenix miracle after catching them in Boston last fall.  However, this show stands to be the best Block Party since 2006. Maybe UU will even splurge on another "headliner" act to support Drake (or to be supported by him even). At the very least, any act that's good enough for Scoop and Mookie (given how those guys are captivating the campus) is an act worth seeing for yourself.


Note: Video may contain strong language

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