Ja Rule to play Spring Fling

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Photo by Philipp Arndt .
The Yale College Council announced yesterday on Facebook that New York-based rapper Ja Rule will be performing in place of Chance The Rapper at this year’s Spring Fling.

Following Chance’s Tuesday cancellation, which was ordered by the rapper’s doctors due to health reasons, the YCC has scrambled to find an alternate performer. The search was made especially difficult because of the condensed time frame, said YCC Events Director Eli Rivkin ’15 — as Spring Fling was only four days away when Chance dropped his performance plans. The other two acts lined up for Spring Fling are Diplo and Betty Who.

But Rivkin said he is confident that the YCC and Spring Fling Committee have found an act worthy of replacing Chance the Rapper.

“We had to find an artist who was still going to get everyone excited … and pumped for the craziness that will be Diplo,” he said, adding that both Ja Rule and Chance have more laid-back styles that will help lead into the later acts.

Spring Fling Committee Chair Erica Leh ’15 said it was “heartbreaking” to hear that Chance could not perform. She added that the search for a new performer was hectic because the committee essentially had eight hours to complete a task that normally lasts months. Rivkin said the search was financially constrained, as Chance had been booked cheaply in the fall.

The choices were also limited in securing such a last-minute performer, Rivkin said.

“Everyone who is relevant was booked,” Rivkin said, adding that the committee had to change its search approach from looking for up-and-coming performers to more established artists.

The idea of booking Ja Rule came out of that mindset, Leh said, adding that he is one of the best options that the committee considered. Most fundamentally, Leh said, Ja Rule’s music is “danceable” and easy to sing along to — which fits into the idea of what students requested in the Spring Fling survey that was sent out earlier in the year to the undergraduate body.

However, students interviewed had a mixed reaction to the announcement. Of 10 students interviewed, four said Ja Rule was a suitable replacement, two said they were disappointed by both the choice and Chance’s cancellation and the remaining four students were unfamiliar with Ja Rule or had never heard of him before.

Jeff Zhang ’16 said he is not very excited by the announcement of Ja Rule as the new performer, though he plans to keep an open mind about Ja Rule’s music.

“I don’t know Ja Rule as much as I know Chance’s stuff,” he said.

Adeline Yeo ’14 said she is happy with the decision and is more excited about Ja Rule than she was about Chance. Nell Meosky ’14 agreed, adding that Ja Rule’s performance will be a throwback of sorts.

Kerri Lu ’14 had never heard of Ja Rule before, but said she was impressed with how quickly the committee acted to find a new performer.

“I think the turnaround is great. It’s going to be a good party,” Lu said.

The Spring Fling festivities begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

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