‘Rap the Vote’ — Concert educates students on politics, voting
On Tuesday, “Rap the Vote” set out to spur political discussion, according to Michael Cullen, an ASUI Senator.
The event was organized by the ASUI Small Concert Committee with Vandal Entertainment. It featured rap group the Good Husbands and rapper RA Scion of Common Market.
“For this particular event, we booked a semester in advance. This was actually booked by my predecessor,” said Shelby Owens, ASUI Small Concerts chair. “I came in with that already contracted, so I (had) already contacted people trying to coordinate the event to try to make it bigger and better.”
Owens said a lot of people wanted to see the Good Husbands, so she contacted them and they were interested in playing. She said RA Scion was already contracted to play from the previous semester.
She said funding for small concert events are collected through student fees for ASUI. She said she books and plans all concert events with the exception of “Finals Fest,” which is considered a large concert.
“I’m budgeted with a certain amount every year and I can only use that much,” she said.
Owens said the budget is about $5,000 per event, but there are some exceptions.
“Allan Stone was an exception. He was a little bit more expensive,” she said.
Cullen said his focus was to promote the event.
“The main goal of the concert was to cause political involvement and spur political discussion so people can be engaged in what’s going on in the state of Idaho, Latah County and the United States,” Cullen said.
Cullen said he reached out to Vandal Entertainment to pitch the name “Rap the Vote.” He said he saw RA Scion playing as an opportunity for a different type of event.
“RA Scion is very politically involved and he has a lot of good things to say,” Cullen said. “The Good Husbands are another good fit because they are really popular among University of Idaho students and they are also excited to be a part of a political movement and something that encourages political involvement.”
Cullen said there were open tables at the event for student and local political organizations to inform attendees about candidates and recruit students to get involved.
“My expectations (were) for people to come out, have a good time and hopefully learn more about state, county and nation-wide elections,” Cullen said.
Dylan Carlson attended “Rap the Vote.”
“They did a good job of making sure that they that they knew the reason why the concert was being put on — to promote voting. Things like the free raffle ticket at the front to encourage students to register to vote were very effective,” Carlson said. “Also, on the national level, we don’t always see the effects as much what local politicians are able to do to make more immediate changes if necessary.”
Aaron Wolfe can be reached at email@example.com