On October 5, students from N.C. Central University entered the New Student Center’s event hall, eager to learn who will be headlining the 2023 Homecoming Concerts.
They discovered a DJ battle and Homecoming lineups, that includes a Gospel Concert and a Hip-Hop concert, that left mixed emotions.
After a few songs were played to get the crowd fired up, the battle of the DJs, Smoke and Havoc, began. DJ Smoke is an upcoming musician who performs throughout the region and has recently visited Pearson Cafe to add some music to “Fried Chicken Wednesdays.”
His opponent, Havoc, is a fellow NCCU education freshman. He’s been DJing since 8th grade, when his mother bought him his first controller. “And we never looked back,” he said.
Smoke went first and played gospel music. The tracks that he had lined up left an unwavering excitement, especially when the entire crowd sang in unison “Smile” by Kirk Franklin.
Shortly after, the screens at the top of the event hall came to life with the Gospel Concert announcement of two Grammy winning artists: Jekalyn Carr and Hezekiah Walker. The crowd’s reaction was deafening.
“Ladies Anthem” followed the first announcement, it was the category Havoc had to work with.
Music from Sexy Red’s, Hitkidd, and Naeedy, galvanized the crowd. Havoc summarized that it’s the best feeling to have the atmosphere rocking. “You hear performers say it all the time, there’ s no drug that could give you that high,” he said. “I live for that feeling.”
Tyler Saddler, a recreational administration junior, enjoyed both of the DJs’ performances. “I don’t think there was a winner or a loser,” he said. “It was good competition.” “They had a good selection of music choices,” said Justin Hardy, a business administration junior.
Diamond Smalls, a criminal justice freshman, thought Havoc performed like it was his career. “As a student, he did really well,” she said.
When Havoc’s music came to an end, the screens turned back on and that’s when everyone learned the headliners for the 2023 Homecoming Concert. They are: Grammy songstress, Muni Long, Atlantic Records’ NoCap, and the New Orleans rapper known as Rob49.
Saddler said that he is “excited” for the concert. “I’m a fan of NoCap.” Hardy said that he was also a fan of Rob49 and Atlantic Records rapper. “Some people don’t like it, but I think it’s going to be a great turnout.”
Smalls disagreed and said that the turnout could drop because the artists aren’t well-known.
“I feel like they catered more to the men than the females with the artists,” she said. Makayla Cherry, a nursing freshman said that the lineup “could’ve been better.” “They chose people we don’t know,” she said.
Havoc also said the lineup “isn’t what I would’ve picked.”