The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) at Stony Brook University (SBU) released the Brookfest 2020 Artist Poll in an attempt to gather student opinions and desires ahead of the yearly concert set to take place next semester in the spring.
The poll is divided into three sections: headliner, opener and female artist; the addition of the female artist option is new to this year’s poll. USG claims in the poll, “We had many complaints about that lack of diversity, and explicitly added this category to level the playing field and give female artists an affirmed chance to be recognized and appreciated by the student body.”
The section features a diverse group of female musicians with a strong fan base. The number of black women within the selection is also hard to miss — Doja Cat, Jessie Reyez, Jorja Smith, Megan Thee Stallion, Rico Nasty, Saweetie and Zara Larsson. Doja Cat, Jessie Reyez and Jorja Smith are all Rhythm and Blues (R&B) artists, while Megan Thee Stallion, Rico Nasty and Saweetie are leading rap artists. Larsson is a pop singer well-known for her song “Symphony” with the electronic band Clean Bandit. The question now is: will the fan base of these popular musicians be represented within the Stony Brook community?
The headliner options are just as star-studded but feature no female artists as they have been placed in their own section. It includes DaBaby, Daniel Caesar, Gunna, J.I.D, Jon Bellion, Lil Baby, Playboi Carti, Tory Lanez and Young Thug. DaBaby was able to burst into mainstream hip-hop this past year, with his video “Suge” amassing over 177 million views, and counting, on YouTube. Lil Baby, Young Thug, Gunna and Tory Lanez have created a steady fan base over the past few years in the time that they’ve been popular. Daniel Caesar is the only artist dedicated solely to R&B, while Jon Bellion and J.I.D are beloved rappers. Playboi Carti’s addition to the headliner options is sure to please a lot of students; with his distinct rap and production style, Playboi Carti may be a favorite in the polls. However, the selection of headliners isn’t a good mix of genres as these artists only represent rap and R&B, but it does show what musical styles are the most popular today.
Joji however, is known for more than just music; he’s also popular because of his online comedic presence, pink guy, and is an author of a book called, Francis of the Filth, published under the name, George Miller. DJ Mustard has produced songs for popular artists like Tyga and YG, but this year he has done a lot of work with singer Ella Mai. Masego is a singer with a recognizable style that seems to be heavily dependent on jazz, while both Lil Tjay and Pop Smoke are popular rap artists responsible for some of the biggest hits of the year. Pop Smoke’s “Dior” and “Welcome to the Party” have a combined 25.6 million views on YouTube as of Dec. 1 and Lil Tjay released his joint project “F.N” with rapper Jay Critch this year.
Each section on the poll also includes a space where students can submit suggestions. This inclusion further centers the voices of the students and allows their opinions to be heard. Many students are eager to see a more diverse set at Brookfest 2020, both in gender and genre.
The poll can be accessed here through an SBU email, and it closes on Friday, Dec. 6 at 12 p.m.