‘That's why we do this work’: CMU students pack first stop of Michigan Made College Tour
For an evening, with over 1,000 people in Finch Fieldhouse, a group of mostly Michigan artists and Central Michigan University students connected as one.
On Feb. 3, the CMU chapter of the National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) and Truu Colors Entertainment hosted Sada Baby, YN Jay and other mainly Michigan rappers at CMU for the first stop of the Michigan Made College Tour.
For more than two hours, musicians from all across the mitten took turns showcasing their artistry to a cheerful collegiate audience.
Nick Lavelle, Truu Colors Entertainment's owner and tour performer described the night as a success, though he sees plenty to improve for the future.
“It was way better than I expected,” LaVelle said. “There was so much that went into this and so many hurdles we had to jump just to get to this point.
"Now we have something to build on. I see a lot of things I did wrong (and) I can improve on moving forward.”
Throughout the event, loud music boomed through the overhead speakers while colorful lights filled the facility. From hip-hop and R&B, dance performances and even some pop music, there was something for everyone.
“My overall purpose for this was to change the view of how CMU sees colored kids on campus,” Vice President of the NPHC chapter at CMU Calvin Price said. “Change the vibe and the stigma of how they view people of color and concerts. If you look, we haven't had a concert in so long.”
Just two days before the concert took place, the venue location was changed and the planned afterparty was canceled.
“The hardest part for me was every time we got four steps forward where we were with the university it was like we were knocked 10 steps back,” Azuare Singleton-Moton president of the NPHC chapter at CMU, said. “We had tasks and stuff to do for the venue every single day up until the day of the concert, and they were still threatening to shut it down.”
In the end, music played, the condensed crowd danced, each seemingly bumping into another, and organizers said the students seemed happy.
“The most rewarding part of the night is seeing everybody enjoy it, especially when Sada came out,” Moton said. “Everybody got so excited and so happy.
"That's why we do this work behind the scenes to make other people happy, make them enjoy themselves and have a great college experience.”
While Sada Baby and YN Jay were the headliners of the event, 9-year-old rapper and daughter of LaVelle, Savannah Aubrey, stole the show performing her song “Be my friend.”
“When I even put the tour together, [Aubrey] was the first person that was on a tour. So it was building around her,” LaVelle said. “You know, her being signed to my label, me just helping her with her music and things like that.
"I just wanted to continue to give her a platform and an opportunity.”
Throughout February, the Michigan Made College tour is teaming with Score Gold, a student resource network. For each tour location two full-time college students will be randomly selected to receive financial help paying for their textbooks for next semester.
The Michigan Made College Tour’s next stop is at the University of Michigan Saturday, Feb. 4. Tickets are on sale from $15-$25 and can be purchased online.
Central Michigan Life Reporter Briana Thompson contributed to this article.