May 7, 2005

C.U. Students, Guests Pack Libe Slope

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“This is just the most drinking I’ve seen at any college” said Kenny Vasoli, lead singer of Slope Day’s opening act The Starting Line, right after his performance. “Most I’ve seen anywhere.”

It’s a tradition most Cornellians are proud of: the hardest working Ivy that throws back hard on the last day of classes. Champagne breakfasts quickly became vodka-filled Aquafina bottles before the sanctioned slope boozing (21 years and over only).

After The Starting Line, thousands packed Libe slope to hear The Game. “Bring ’em out, bring ’em out,” they cheered, and out he came.

“Where all the weed smokers at? Where all the alcoholics at?”

In a scene sure to make Gannett Health Services cringe, the majority of the audience took the first step to recovery, admitting their drug and alcohol problems with a hearty affirmative cheer, “Right here.”

Towards the front of the audience, girls clawed each other to get as close to the up-and-coming rap artist as possible.

“Go head’ envy me,” he rapped. “I’m rap’s MVP/And I ain’t goin nowhere so you can get to know me.”

He told the audience that he had never attended a university, but that Cornell was giving him that opportunity.

“They can’t say I never went to college,” he said. “I’ve been to Ithaca.”

After performing most of his new album, The Documentary, The Game free-styled for a while before Snoop Dogg came on to the thunderous applause of over ten-thousand dancing fans.

“If ya’ll know me,” he said, “ya’ll know I’m gangster.” He then broke into many of his classic songs.

Acknowledging protesters that had gathered nearby, Snoop Dogg said that he did indeed respect women, saying “When I play this record, I want you to put those signs down.”

He then proceeded to croon his chart-topping hit “Beautiful”: “Girls be complainin’ you keep me boomin’/But girls like that wanna listen to Pat Boone … I smack up the world if they rude to you/’Cause baby girl you so beautiful …”

He later broke out into his rap classic “Gin and Juice”: “Two in the mornin and the party’s still jumpin/cause my momma ain’t home/I got bitches in the living room gettin it on/and, they ain’t leavin til six in the mornin’.”

He finished off strong with the crowd favorite “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” which has recently been seen in modified form in a variety of student protests on campus.

“Snoop Dogg was awesome,” said Dan Cohen ’06, adding that he did not much like The Game’s act which he considered “garbage.”

Daniel Raichel ’05 concurred, saying that Snoop Dogg was “the shizzle.” Amanda Mirto ’06 did not care for either The Game or Snoop Dogg, but instead said that she was a devoted fan of The Starting Line.

“The Starting Line is the only reason that I came here today,” she said, adding that the song “Best of Me” was her favorite.

Controversy has dogged Snoop lately, including allegations against the rapper claiming he committed sexual assault. A planned concert put on by “The Dogfather” at Harvard University fell through after security concerns and the threat of wide-spread student protests reportedly killed the deal. About 150 people showed up to Harvard’s $16,000 “Springfest,” according to the Harvard Crimson.

However, Cornell is not the only institution of higher learning to play host to Snoop Dogg: Syracuse University hosted the musician on May 1, and Oxford University plans on having the rap luminary lead a discussion on marijuana and other drugs.

Despite the massive quantities of alcohol involved, the occasional fistfight and a group of protesters decrying main act Snoop Dogg’s allegedly misogynistic song lyrics, Simeon Moss ’73, Cornell press relations office director, said “It seemed like everybody was having a good time.”

He also said that although attendance was up several thousand to an estimated 15,000 total attendees, there were fewer police reports and fewer EMS responses than there were at last year’s festivities. “The changes made this year were successful,” he said.

The changes this year continued a trend towards a safer, more sober Slope Day celebration. These changes have included a bigger emphasis on big-name acts, tighter security and copious amounts of water.

The University was also more strict on enforcing the guest list: students could pre-order tickets for up to 2 friends, who had to be accompanied by a student on their way in. All 3,000 pre-order tickets sold out within three days of being offered online. Faculty, staff and anyone with a CUID could also gain admittance to the concert for free.

In order to foil those who planned on simply hopping past security, 6-foot high chain-link fencing replaced its orange plastic predecessor. At one point, an intoxicated man, who declined to show show staffers a CUID, was quickly tackled by security after attempting to run his way past the entrance to the event area down hill.

“Spring Day,” Slope Day’s spiritual predecessor, began in 1901 as a way to celebrate the end of the academic year. It’s various incarnations have included variety shows and mock bullfights.

“Slope Fest” was created in 1998 as a non-alcoholic addition to the main event, where the class councils gave out free sunglasses and The Game-styled “Bling.” Slope fest also featured free food and fun games for students who wanted to take a breather from the “You Booze, You Win”-atmosphere advertised by t-shirts on the Slope.

In addition, the Multicultural Greek Letter Council continued the tradition of a stroll exhibition, showcasing the step dances of various MGLC houses.

Archived article by Michael Morisy
Sun News Editor