Eaglepalooza made a shocking return after it was originally set to be cancelled due to statewide budget cuts. The Southern Miss Student Government Association crowd-funded the event using an Eagle Fever account titled “Save Eaglepalooza.” In just 30 days, the account generated approximately $30,000. Collaboration from students and others in the community raised enough money to make the 14th annual Eaglepalooza a success.
Eaglepalooza, an annual, free concert for The University of Southern Mississippi students and the general public, is Southern Miss’ highlight event of student activities. Eaglepalooza, which was originally held in Spirit Park, was held in the Reed Green Coliseum due to inclement weather conditions.
In the past, the SGA has maintained a multitude of diverse musical acts such as Keri Hilson, Echosmith, Iconapop and Phillip Phillips. This year, rapper B.O.B headlined the event. Bobby Ray Simmons Jr., professionally known as B.O.B, is a songwriter, singer, rapper and producer. The Atlanta native is an outspoken believer that the earth is flat. Students brought inflatable globes and signs to Eaglepalooza stating that “the Earth is Round” in order to play on the performers theory. He has yet to officially explain his theory in public. Nevertheless, the crowd danced to songs such as “Headband,” “Out of My Mind” and “Nothin’ on You” featuring Bruno Mars. The rapper interacted with everyone as he crowd-surfed, pulled students on stage and even gave away autographed merchandise. The hour-long festivities left the crowd wanting more as B.O.B left the stage, prompting the crowd to begin chanting for an encore.
This year’s openers consisted of USM’s own, Hampton Lamar and Elsie. Hampton Lamar is a mass communications major in his junior year. He is a multi- talented artist who sings, raps and composes his own music. Lamar says that he garners his inspiration from God. He says that he does not like to create music that will just sell. He likes to create things that are true to himself.
“My manager will sometimes get mad at me because I’m not just pumping music out,” said Lamar. “I like to take my time with my music, because I will know that if I put it out there it will be mine. Not just something I wrote just to sell.”
Elsie is a Southern Miss alumna who set the mood for the event with her upbeat, foot-stomping song “Magnolia.” It is a Southern, folk-inspired song that talks about the joys of being down in the good ole South. Elsie sings a multitude of genres, such as R&B, Alternative, Pop and Gospel. Aside from being a singer, she is also an accomplished pianist. The singer says that she doesn’t write her music, God writes that for her.
“He basically gives me what I need in order to write songs,” said Elsie. “I get all of my inspiration from him.”