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Sunday January 16th

N.C. A&T withdraws support for rapper

Gucci Mane still slated to perform

Rapper Gucci Mane is said to have ties to the Bloods and Crips gangs.
Buy Photos Rapper Gucci Mane is said to have ties to the Bloods and Crips gangs.

N.C. Agricultural & Technical State University has withdrawn its support for an anxiously anticipated Homecoming performance featuring Gucci Mane because of the rapper’s ties to gang violence.

But the show will go on. The show’s co-sponsor has stepped up to keep the Halloween performance at the Greensboro Coliseum on schedule. Eight thousand advance tickets have been sold.

N.C. A&T is well-known for bringing in top rap and hip-hop artists for its Homecoming celebrations. The university is also especially mindful of connections to violence, since two students have died in shootings since 2008.

Gucci Mane’s latest album, Murder Was the Case, includes songs such as “Murder for Fun” and “Cuttin’ off Fingaz.”

“It was in the best interest of the university to pull back,” said Sullivan Welborne, vice chancellor for student affairs. “There was information from certain allegations that associated the performers with the Bloods and the Crips.”

The incident has called into question the university’s role in choosing Homecoming acts.

The students and co-sponsor Diamond Life Entertainment chose the performers. The university had no say but needed more oversight, Welborne said.

The lateness of the university’s decision has caused a stir on campus because the planning began months ago and administrators only recently changed their minds.

“I just want to give my students the best Homecoming ever,” said Student Body President Syene Jasmin. He and other student government officials refused to comment any further.

 This is not the first time that A&T has disapproved of the student’s choice of performers. Rapper 50 Cent was rejected a few years ago, Welborne said.

Malcolm Eustache, a senior journalism major, said he supports the refusal to sponsor the rappers.

“This is the first step in the process of N.C. A&T leading by example. It is not about this particular artist. It’s about the message behind his music,” Eustache said.

But Kenneth Hawkins, a sophomore journalism major, said he thought the administration might now try to interfere in future events, which he said is inappropriate.

“We have always had artists that were gang-related,” he said.



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