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Gucci Mane Kicked Out of A&T Homecoming Line-up for Gang Affiliation? School Refuses to Back Concert!

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N.C. A&T has removed its name and financial support from the university’s annual homecoming concert after complaints about hiring a Gucci Mane.

Well, with recent controversy about rapper Gucci Mane performing as the concert headliner , Chancellor Harold Martin said the school had to take a “moral stand.”

“We could not replace Gucci Mane on the bill at this late date,” Martin said. “So we made the decision that we would remove our institution’s name from all advertising, all marquees, all tickets, and we would withdraw financial support from the show so that we would not be in any way, shape or form associated with his message or his image.”

With more than 8,000 tickets sold, the show will go on as planned Oct. 31. But now it will be put on exclusively by a production company, Diamond Life Concerts.

The Greensboro Coliseum has hosted the A&T homecoming show for 15 years, said Andrew Brown , public relations manager for the coliseum . It also hosted Gucci Mane earlier this year at the annual SuperJam show without incident, Brown said.

But Martin said the university’s concerns run deeper. “We felt this was something we had to do to protect our name and the values of our institution.”

The chancellor said A&T will be more mindful in choosing who it invites for its concerts, making sure that performers reflect the university’s values.

Students began complaining about Gucci Mane’s participation in the show shortly after returning to campus in August.

Martin said the rapper’s music and message were not consistent with the image of A&T and were not the sort of thing that should be highlighted at homecoming, a time when the school welcomes back alumni, celebrates its history and showcases its accomplishments.

“I don’t think you need to support rappers coming here who are affiliated with gangs,” said Charles Melvin , an A&T senior who said he won’t attend the show. “We’ve had some gang stuff going on around campus, so there’s no need to invite someone like Gucci Mane. “There are so many better artists with good lyrical content and who can put on a real show, like Mos Def or The Roots ,” Melvin said.

Each year, A&T’s Student Government Association conducts a poll to learn who students want at the homecoming concert. The SGA then works with Diamond Life Concerts to choose the acts who will be invited. This year’s poll was on the online site Facebook; many students said they didn’t see it.

“I don’t really think students were involved enough in the decision in the first place,” said Katrice Monroe , a sophomore . “I feel like it’s just a small group of people who made this decision, and are now deciding to take our name off the concert after.”

SGA President Syene Jasmin , apologized for the booking in a local TV interview earlier this month. Some students criticized him for talking about Aggie business outside the campus, but Jasmin found support from a number of students and prominent alumni, including Martin and Greensboro Mayor Yvonne Johnson, who agreed with his position.

“I think you have to take a stand sometimes,” said Johnson, who got her master’s degree at A&T. “I frankly think the degradation of women and the promotion of illegal and dangerous stuff ought to be put down.”

Johnson said Martin’s decision to pull A&T out of the concert is an example of the principled, assertive leadership that Aggies expected of him when he was sworn in as chancellor in May.
“He’s not just talking the talk,” Johnson said. “He’s walking the walk.”

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