This Yardfest will truly be one to remember.
The College Events Board recently announced that rappers Lil Yachty and Wale will perform at Yardfest, a College-wide concert held each spring. As with any musical selection, students who enjoy the styles of rap Lil Yachty and Wale perform were no doubt overjoyed, and those who prefer other music were disappointed. It is unrealistic to believe that the CEB’s decision, or any decision, would please all students, a dilemma the group must have considered. In this situation, it was right to select two relatively popular artists such as these two.
Lil Yachty is currently one of the most popular artists in the music world. One of the reasons people enjoy his music so much is because of his innovative style of rap, known as “bubblegum trap,” that samples from the diverse sounds of the Mario video game series, animated cartoons of Charlie Brown, and the “Rugrats” television show. Thus, it’s not a surprise that with hit songs such as “Minnesota” and “Night,” Lil Yachty and his music is listened to not only in the United States, but across the world. Additionally, Lil Yachty has a large social media presence—his Instagram account has over 5 million followers, and his posts on the social media interface have garnered upwards of 800,000 likes. To a lesser extent, Wale also fulfills this same description. With hits like “Chillin,” “Pretty Girls,” and “World Tour,” he is most certainly well-known, if less so than Lil Yachty.
Furthermore, by inviting two rappers, the CEB bucked the electronic dance music trend that characterized the 2016 selection of Steve Aoki and the 2017 pick of Tiësto. This was a wise move—by increasing the diversity of Yardfest artists’ styles, the CEB makes it more likely that students who dislike the selected artist one year may enjoy performances to come.
Importantly, a great Yardfest cannot occur without proper funding. Thus, we hope the Office of Student Life will adequately and transparently finance Yardfest and accompanying events, instead of following last year’s decision to ask the Undergraduate Council for assistance. In particular, last year’s “block parties” were successful not only in engendering student enthusiasm for the concert but also in bringing students together across to enjoy food, drink, and games across Houses and class years.
This is especially true for freshmen, who were just assigned into Houses, and thus should be getting to know their future House communities and and immersing themselves in House spirit. Indeed, freshmen can often feel isolated from upperclassmen, given the physical distance from the Yard to both the River and Quad Houses. If organized and funded properly, this event could be a step toward changing that, serving as a bridge to welcome them to the community of House life at Harvard.
Regardless of who performs, we hope all Harvard students enjoy a wonderful afternoon of safe, enjoyable fun.
This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Crimson Editorial Board. It is the product of discussions at regular Editorial Board meetings. In order to ensure the impartiality of our journalism, Crimson editors who choose to opine and vote at these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on similar topics.
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