Derek Harrison/The Daily Evergreen
Rap rhymes and hip-hop beats punctuated the warm summer air Wednesday night, as more than 1,000 WSU students attended the Student Entertainment Board’s (SEB) annual CougFest event.
Cougfest, held on Glenn Terrell Mall and Library Road, featured daytime events including a student involvement fair, interactive games and large inflatables. A three-hour evening concert showcased hip-hop artists Hoodie Allen, Sir Mix-A-Lot and two opening acts.
Brian Shuffield, associate director for campus programming, said attendance for Cougfest is usually around 3,000 people. Shuffield said he expected a higher figure this year, at least in part due to older students wanting to see Sir Mix-A-Lot.
Nearly 1,200 people were listed as “going” on the event’s Facebook page by Wednesday afternoon.
WSU freshman Rebecca Alexander, who is planning to major in nursing and Spanish, attended the concert with several friends and said she loved it.
“We’re just having fun dancing like white people,” Alexander said.
Karan Sharma, a junior computer science major, said the concert was fun but wished bigger names would have been booked, such as former Springfest performer Ludacris.
“I don’t think anyone knows who Hoodie Allen is, to be honest with you,” said Sharma. “But I think bringing Sir Mix-A-Lot is definitely an eye-catcher for people.”
Sir Mix-A-Lot, a legend of the west coast hip-hop scene, drew a huge crowd when he took the stage just after 8 p.m. and performed with Seattle rapper Outtasite.
Although he has two platinum-selling albums and several hit singles, Sir Mix-A-Lot is perhaps best known for “Baby Got Back,” his 1992 Grammy award-winning ode to big butts.
And after all these years, he said he still enjoys them.
“My standards have come down a little bit as I’ve aged,” Sir Mix-A-Lot said prior to the concert. “You have to, you know, get a little more desperate. That’s how you end up with the ones you have to hide from your friends.”
Sir Mix-A-Lot, who said he recalled playing at WSU many years ago, loves the campus and the women that inhabit it.
“That’s the main reason you do college campuses,” he said. “It ain’t the money, it’s the women.”
Sir Mix-A-Lot also hugged Butch on-stage during the show as the crowd chanted obscenely about the Huskies.
P-Smoov, part of the hip-hop group Fresh Espresso that opened the concert for Sir Mix-A-Lot, summed up the range of the rapper’s cultural impact earlier in the afternoon.
“You know you’re a ‘G’ when my dad knows the first bit of ‘Baby Got Back,'” he said.
Jeff Lawrence, aka dj100proof, provided hip-hop grooves on the main stage for more than an hour before Fresh Espresso began their set.
Hoodie Allen, a New York-based rapper and songwriter, took the stage just after 9 p.m. Allen worked for Google after graduating from college but eventually quit his job there to focus on his music career.
Cougfest, organized by SEB since 2003, has been going on for more than a decade, Shuffield said, and is a big welcome back for students.
“It’s grown tremendously over the past five years,” he said.
The SEB budget for the event was around $14,000, Shuffield said. The actual cost was higher, but it was defrayed by financial support from sponsors.
This year’s sponsors included U.S. Bank, ASWSU, Coug Parents, New Student Programs and several Greek organizations.
For the masses of students gathered on the Glenn Terrell Mall Wednesday evening, Sir Mix-A-Lot said he hoped students would take away one thing from the concert:
“Tonight, you are irresponsible losers, and we’re all gonna be losers together,” he said. “You can deal with school tomorrow.”