Hip Hop at Vanderbilt?
When I decided to come to Vanderbilt there were a lot of things that attracted me to the school and to the city of Nashville. Music was not one of them. I love hip-hop music and even though Nashville is known as Music City, it’s not exactly the type of stuff you’ll find in my playlist. One of the things I love most about Chicago (my hometown!) is the great independent hip-hop scene. On any given day you can find a great show somewhere in town and there’s always new mixtapes and songs coming from local artists. I was a little hesitant at first to go from somewhere with such a lively scene to a city like Nashville that has a pretty small local hip-hop contingent.
Despite my hesitation I couldn’t pass up the great social and academic opportunities that Nashville and Vanderbilt presented. Even though I figured Kanye West wasn’t going to be playing at the Grand Ole Opry anytime soon, I would survive by scavenging across a few trusty blogs from back home to get my hip-hop fix. When I go to Vandy though, I was pleasantly surprised. There were a lot of students who shared the same interests as me in terms of music and there was even a club for people interested in hip-hop culture (Hip-Hop Union). I joined the club and had a great time being able to discuss recent record releases, fashion, and everything else with people just as engaged and passionate as myself.
And even more to my surprise Vandy actually brought a lot of great artists to campus. I’ve only been on campus for 3 semesters and already I’ve seen Lil’ Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, Jay-Z, TI, Q-Tip, and N.E.R.D. all at Vandy! The best thing is that Vandy students usually get a reduced price on shows that happen at the school and we get really great seats! The Music Group at Vanderbilt has been really good at bringing the biggest names in music to school and I’ve been able to get along just fine at school with even more than my loaded iPod.
Even in Nashville there’s hip-hop to be heard. Because Nashville is a decent sized city a lot of music tours come through town. In my time here I’ve been able to see some of my favorite independent hip-hop acts as well and most times those shows are super affordable (less than 10 dollars)! It’s been really great to find those shows and they’ve given me a chance to venture out and learn more about the city as a whole.
I’ve even found some underground talent based out of Nashville! One band by the name of Biscuits and Gravy are really great and I’ve had a chance to discover and even hang out with. They have a great sound and they’ve played at Vandy a bunch of times for the MOSAIC weekend and the Kissam Karnival. Vanderbilt and Nashville have really exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait for the rest of my time here to see what other new music I can discover!