The sun peeked in and out of the Friday afternoon clouds. Despite the threat of light rain, BET staff and Union Board workers began setting up the tents, stage and booths in front of Attucks Hall. The noon jumpoff drew the crowd from everywhere. Students left class waiting for what was in store for them. This year marks BET’s seventh stop at Grambling State University.
Students were eager for the start of the show. It was much like the past few years, but differed in a few ways. Because of construction, the location changed from the yard to a position located between the Men’s Gym and Dunbar Hall. Last year also consisted of a bigger space allowed for activities.
By 12:30, the singer’s spotlight featured GSU students showcasing their vocal talents. Next up was the poetry contest sponsored by McDonald’s 365 Black promotions. The events later moved on to the notorious freestyle battle, which host Kool Al claimed as one of the best on the tour.
The winners of each activity received prizes, such as a $500 gift card, an iPod Nano, iPod speakers, and a laptop for the poetry contest winner.
During all the events, students were encouraged to check out each tent. The career center accepted resumes, and allowed each student to sign up for jobs and internships almost anywhere in the country.
Another tent was sponsored by McDonald’s 365 Black promotions. Students were to answer correctly various trivia questions about Black history to receive $10 Arch Cards to McDonald’s. They were also allowed to enter the sweepstakes to win other prizes.
Other tents and booths included pictures and games such as the football toss, obstacle course, the skills competition, and an online raffle.
As the day went on, clouds slowly began to sneak in quickly releasing only a few drops. The crowd began to flee under trees, books, and whatever else they could find to keep out of the light rain.
Lasting for only a few minutes, everyone gradually returned only to beaming sunlight and excessive heat. By then it was time for the much anticipated afternoon concert.
This year was no different than the last. The performers included artists most of whom the student body was familiar with, and others of whom some hadn’t heard of. It began with newcomer JR Get Money. He hyped the crowd leading up to the main event Derrty Entertainment recording artist Murphy Lee.
Fans immediately rushed the guardrails to meet the St. Louis native. He performed hits such as “What the Hook Gon’ be?”, and his verse on “Welcome to Atlanta (Remix).”
Accompanied by Kyjaun, he also gave the audience a sneak peek at his new single that has already hit the airwaves. After the concert, Murphy Lee signed autographs and took pictures with GSU fans.
“The turnout is always bigger every year,” said Alvin Pierce.
Pierce, the BET Event Coordinator, praised GSU for its consistency the three years he’s been involved with the program. When asked why BET chooses to keep coming back, Pierce replied, “It’s the students, faculty, and assistance we always get. Not only that, Grambling has so much history. How could we not come back?