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On September 6th, Virginia Tech has scheduled what appears to be a memorial concert for the victims of the horrifying tragedy that killed 32 people and injured 25 back on April 16th. A press release notes the entertainers who will be taking part:
BLACKSBURG, Va., August 2, 2007 — On September 6, Virginia’s own Dave Matthews Band along with John Mayer, Phil Vassar, and Nas will join together in “A Concert For Virginia Tech” at the university’s Lane Stadium. Free tickets will be made available to all current students, faculty, and staff. Coming at the beginning of the 2007-2008 academic year, the concert was conceived as a way to help the university community move forward in the aftermath of the April tragedy at Virginia Tech.
Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Phil Vassar, and Nas have waived their fees for the event. Corporate sponsorships and the sale of commemorative concert items will help to cover the expenses associated with the logistics of the concert. No funds from the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund will be used to cover expenses for this concert.
“We’re extremely grateful for the compassion and generosity of these artists who wished to create a very special event where our students, faculty, and staff can come together to celebrate the spirit and resiliency of our university community as we begin a new academic year” said Charles Steger, President of Virginia Tech.
One small problem: Rapper Nas. Here’s how he’s billed in the press release:
About Nas: With a storied career that began with 1994’s classic Illmatic and has spanned the last decade with over 12 million albums sold, Nas is hip hop’s foremost lyricist and thinker. And, some would argue, hip hop’s conscience. With 2006’s Hip Hop is Dead, Nas challenged the sonic norms, ignited an impassioned debate–and proved that hip hop is still very much alive.
But as James Taranto points out, he’s not exactly the kind of entertainer you’d expect to see at a concert honoring victims of a shooting massacre:
Here is a sample of hip hop’s conscience’s oeuvre, a 1999 work called “Shoot ‘Em Up” (warning: unredacted obscenities at link):
One 44, two 45’s
3 loaded clips, 4 niggas roll, one nigga drives
500 Benz, 6 reasons why
This kid should die
We shootin every m—–f—er outside
Pulled on his block, jumped out the car, guns in our hand
At the same time everybody ran
There that nigga go, hiding in the crowd
Let the trigger blow, 7 shots now he lying on the ground
Hip hop’s conscience is helping the Virginia Tech community come together to celebrate its spirit and resiliency and ensure that we never forget those lost or affected by the events of April 16. Doesn’t that make you feel warm all over?
Whoever scheduled Nas to appear made a big booboo, methinks. Having a rapper who glorifies killing at a concert that will remember the victims of the Va. Tech shooting massacre kinda goes against the ‘anti-gun violence’ attitude now prevalent on the campus of Va. Tech. Of course, its entirely up to them who they want to play there – it’s just not appropriate, in my book.