The Tigerfest comedy/talent show rocked T.H. Harris auditorium Wednesday night. The two-for-one event humored and surprised the student body.
Spoken word artist and criminal justice senior Keith Brown won the crowd’s support, a cash prize and the notoriety which accompanies victory over other more typical Tigerfest performances during the Apollo style segment.
“I’m humbled by and appreciative of all the love the crowd showed, and I’m blessed to be part of the bevy of talent at the university,” said Keith Brown, a native of Richmond, Calif.
Other students remarked on the success of the comics.
“Overall, I was pleased . I did expect Lil Duval to be funnier, but he won the crowd for the most part,” said hotel/restaurant management senior Cameron Butler, a Dallas native.
Butler added that he was glad that a poet nabbed the year’s Tigerfest title.
“Lil Duval triumphed over Grambling’s usually unruly crowd,” said nursing senior Brenton Flurry, a Silver Springs, MD native.
Grambling favorite and comic Steve Brown hosted the event, included several Grambling State students in his routine and brought fresh jokes to the internationally feared audience.
The infamous crowd made news last fall when veteran comedian Charlie Murphy was booed after an unsuccessful set.
Brown approached the crowd with confidence, addressed the Murphy situation and warned hecklers that he was not what they wanted.
“Holler at me,” Brown challenged. “I’ll make you famous!”
Brown encouraged spectators to enjoy the show regardless of who was around.
He told Grambling’s “high class low-income” crowd not to act “bourghie.”
Brown’s spirited presentation included quips about everything from holy-rollers to people with lazy eyes and Greek life.
He posted a picture of an Iota on campus, Deneco Brown, to photo site Twitpic.com, after expressing surprise at seeing a “real” one.
After the audience loosened up, the show’s headliner Roland Powell, better known as Lil Duval, brought massive laughs that contrasted with his small frame.
Duval represents Grand Hustle, an Atlanta based record label created by Clifford “T.I.” Harris and Jason Geter.
He offered a disclaimer.
“This (is) the ignorant part of the show,” said Duval.
His set took the audience on a journey of sexuality, stamina, gender dynamics, relationship politics and intellectual property.
The jokes were decidedly critical of women, as he cautioned ladies against listening to popular singers including Beyonce, Keyshia Cole and others.
“That’s why y’all lonely. Listening to Jazmine Sullivan.”
The Jacksonville, Fla (Duval County) native also told men that their dishonesty skills were sub-par.
“We don’t know how to lie, fellas.”
He reminded “side chicks” (women who knowingly participate in relationships with taken men) that infidelity is not their main concern.
“I’m cheating with you,” he said.
The climax of Duval’s assertiveness came when he singled out a student who was recording his performance.
“Put the camera up, b*tch,” he said before adding that pre-releases of his material affect his money.
The biting address prompted silence from the usually chatty crowd. It also ended the stream of flashing red lights.
Behind the scenes, Duval presented a calmer perspective while eating chicken wings.
“I loved (Grambling) . Had a good time,” he said.
Duval said that he was not afraid to come to Grambling, despite Murphy’s unfortunate fate because, “I’ve seen this a bunch of other times.”
He added that he did not feel the need to censor himself for Grambling and said that he had the opportunity to present what he called a “let-me-be-me set.”
Duval knows that for the scores of fans he acquired through the years, he also has countless others who hate his actions, jokes and tweets.
The Floridian addressed some common misconceptions.
With regard to people believing that he is a misogynistic “a*shole,” he said that people tend to be offended if they are implicated.
He explained with a light-hearted weave analogy.
He said that if he roasts people who wear lacefronts (wigs with visible, artificial scalps), lacefront loyalists might get angry.
“A hit dog hollers,” Duval said.
As he opined onstage, “It ain’t ’bout what you say. It’s how you say it.