Spring Weekend was finally celebrated on the Keene State College campus, and along with the warm weather came rappers Lupe Fiasco and Kid Ink. The spring concert happened on April 15 and was hosted in the Spaulding Gymnasium on campus.
Kid Ink, who thanked The Equinox for reaching out to interview him, said that he began his rap career in high school at the age of 16 as a producer.
“I was just doing music for fun [in high school], but I took it a little bit more serious when I graduated and had to focus on what I was going to do with my life in the long term,” Kid Ink said.
After attempting college classes and finding work after graduating from high school, Kid Ink said that he quickly realized the traditional route wasn’t for him.
Kid Ink said, “I found myself missing work or missing class because I was too busy doing music, so I figured that was something I should just go forward with.”
For Kid Ink, it was important to keep an open mind.
“It’s all about being creative, and maybe not as scheduled as the business mindset,” Kid Ink said. “I think it’s cool to be able to do the business side of things – people should always go to school to do that – but there also needs to be people who focus on the art side of things and stay creative.”
The rapper, who is covered almost head to toe in tattoos, said he started getting inked about the same time he started getting into music, and that the art on his body goes along with his creative mindset.
“I’m from LA [Los Angeles], and it’s just the culture there,” Kid Ink said of his body art. “I can have all these tattoos, but still break the stereotypes that a person might have about me. I get to express myself. I even drew some of these tattoos myself. I worked at a tattoo shop and wanted to be a tattoo artist at one point.”
Kid Ink added, “I love the visual expression of [tattoos]. Someone is able to read me a little bit just by looking at me, but then I’m able to give them something different when we actually talk.”
When asked what his one piece of advice for KSC students would be, Kid Ink said, “Do what you love.” Kid Ink continued, “When I went to school…the classes I fell in love with were the music ones. Go for what you love, and not for what everyone is telling you to do at the end of the day. That way, when you graduate you get to use your talents and start a life in something you’re passionate about.”
Bryanna Pearson, the Social Activities Council’s concert coordinator and Brittany LaFleur, a general member of the Social Activities Council (SAC), both had the pleasure of meeting Kid Ink before he performed Friday night.
“[Meeting Kid Ink] was surreal. He was such a fabulous guy,” Pearson said. “Very down to earth – loved to talk and an all-around ‘real’ person.”
LaFleur added, “He was very genuine and was so nice.”
Cameron Cummings, a KSC junior, said that he’s glad that the college is able to welcome such amazing musicians to the campus.
Cummings, who attended the concert with a friend, said that they were most excited to see Lupe Fiasco perform.
Cummings, who was able to enjoy the concert from the front row, said, “Lupe is such a huge inspiration and a great lyricist. It was amazing being so close to such an important person who has impacted the world so much.”
Pearson said that she thought the concert was incredibly successful.
“As long as people have fun, I believe it is always successful no matter what else happens,” Pearson said. “Also the lines [to get into the concert] were our biggest concern due to the fact that they were so bad last year. This year they went fast and had no craziness, which was a big relief.”
LaFleur, who was recently elected to be next year’s publicity coordinator for SAC, said that she was on the security team during the concert.
“I was scanning tickets all night, and it was cool to be able to greet every person that came into the concert,” LaFleur said. “It went really well.”
Though Pearson and LaFleur were both working during the concert, they said they were able to enjoy themselves as well.
LaFleur said, “The best part was at the end of the night when I got to see everyone happily leaving the concert. It really showed me what my SAC family and tech crew can pull off.”
Pearson added, “To me, enjoying it is seeing everyone happy. When I can sneak into the gym and see everyone having a good time, that is me enjoying it. I did, however, get to fangirl a bit seeing Kid Ink. I really do enjoy his music, so to see him live and be introduced to him as the concert coordinator was surreal.”
All in all, Pearson said that the spring concert would have been nowhere near as successful without her fellow SAC members.
“I have the most fabulous crew supporting me. The Social Activities Council, from the advisor to the executive board to the general members, they are all such wonderful people that I truly could not do any of this without them,” Pearson said. “A huge thanks to them from the bottom of my heart.”
Jill Giambruno can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.