Students react to Spring Fling lineup

Will Passion Pit — pictured above — 3LAU and T-Pain be this year's Spring Fling lineup?
Will Passion Pit — pictured above — 3LAU and T-Pain be this year's Spring Fling lineup? Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

After a Spring Fling lineup that includes rapper T-Pain, Passion Pit and DJ 3LAU leaked online last week, students have voiced mixed feelings about the upcoming event.

News about the Spring Fling performers broke after a posting on songkick.com, a website that tracks artists and their concerts, indicated that T-Pain, Passion Pit and 3LAU would play at Yale on Tuesday, April 24 — the same day as Spring Fling. Rapper BIG RyAT had also posted earlier that week that he would perform at a concert with T-Pain at Yale on April 24. Though the majority of 15 students interviewed said they were excited to hear Passion Pit’s electronic dance music, students were more divided over T-Pain, and some expressed concern that he would not perform well alone because he often collaborates with other artists.

“T-Pain is a guest-verse rapper,” said Bijan Stephen ’13. “I don’t know what he is going to do without the people that feature him.”

Best known for the songs he records with fellow hip-hop artists, T-Pain has won two Grammy awards: one for “Good Life” with Kanye West in 2008, and one for “Blame It” with Jamie Foxx in 2010.

Katie Donley ’13, events director of the Yale College Council, which sponsors the event, would not confirm the lineup and declined to comment on the artists playing at this year’s Spring Fling. Kat Lau ’13, chair of the Spring Fling committee, said the number of acts at the event will likely be consistent with last year’s four. Lau added that the YCC has not made an official announcement about the lineup because of factors “on the artists’ ends.”

Karl Medina ’14 said he expects T-Pain to be more enjoyable than last year’s headliner, Lupe Fiasco, because T-Pain has more of a “pop feel.” Betsey Lowell ’12 said she had hoped for a “better” headliner act than T-Pain, but added that after MGMT’s disappointing performance in 2010, “you can only go uphill.”

Both Sonja Peterson ’14 and Isabel Ortiz ’14 said they take issue with the messages about women and alcohol that T-Pain promotes in his songs, such as “Blame It,” which advises listeners to “blame it on the alcohol.”

“I’m unimpressed with the choice by the YCC to honor him at Spring Fling,” Ortiz said.

Nine students interviewed said they are looking forward to Passion Pit, an electronic band known for the 2009 album “Manners,” which features the hit “Sleepyhead.” Arvind Mohan ’14 said he thinks Passion Pit is a “high-energy” band that is “easy to dance to.”

Of 15 students interviewed, only one had heard of 3LAU, a 21-year-old mash-up DJ and producer from Las Vegas. 3LAU’s music is “post-progressive house,” according to his website.

In addition to the professional acts the YCC will bring in, the three student bands that win a “Battle of the Bands” co-hosted by the YCC and WYBC during Bulldog Days will open at Spring Fling, said Nathan Campbell ’14, who is running the contest. Campbell said the contest is a unique opportunity for students to earn the chance to perform at a larger venue.

“[Spring Fling] is a more festive atmosphere than any other student show at Yale,” Campbell said. “There’s not anything going on at the same time, it’s a huge central event, and they can see their friends or other undergrads on a huge stage with a great sound system.”

Last year’s Spring Fling lineup featured Big Gigantic, Third Eye Blind, Lupe Fiasco and Designer Drugs.

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