BY ELEANOR HARRIS '20
This year, rapper Waka Flocka Flame will take the stage for Mount Holyoke’s spring concert. The biennial tradition has brought a variety of musicians to MHC to celebrate the end of the school year.
From Kanye West to M.I.A., we’re taking a look back at some of the musicians who headlined Chapin Auditorium before they ended up at Madison Square Garden (or at least on your Spotify playlist). Read on — and don’t miss this year’s concert on April 15.
KANYE WEST (2004)
Kanye West (2004)
Yes, it really happened. Mount Holyoke’s 2004 spring concert was performed by Kanye West, who was then described by the Mount Holyoke News as a “rising hip-hop artist.” (We got that right.)
According to the MHN review of the sold-out show, West performed almost every song from his 2004 debut album “The College Dropout.” He was joined by John Legend on vocals and piano for what must have been, without debate, the best spring concert ever.
West has not returned to Mount Holyoke since 2004, having been busy releasing six more albums, winning 21 Grammy Awards and founding Yeezy, his fashion brand. Hopefully, he’ll make it back to South Hadley soon.
In 2007, indie group hellogoodbye headlined the show. The band was joined by pop/rock groups Boys Like Girls and The Hush Sound.
According to the Mount Holyoke website, the spring concert launched hellogoodbye’s 2007 U.S. tour. The band formed in California in 2001 and was known for its hit single “Here (In Your Arms)” as well as its down-to-earth, DIY approach to performances.
Fun fact: the tickets for the hellogoodbye concert were $15 for Five College Students. This year’s concert tickets are $5 for Mount Holyoke students. Get yours online!
The year before she received her first Grammy nominations, Sri Lankan artist and activist M.I.A. headlined the spring concert. Student reaction was mixed; a 2008 MHN article contained quotes from students who “had no idea who she was” and from others who were “mad excited” and ready to “party like a rock star with M.I.A.”
According to the New York Times, M.I.A. became a bona fide pop star around 2009 — but has kept her rebel spirit and progressive political beliefs. “I had the choice to shut my mouth and not be political in order to catapult my fame and popularity and my bank balance,” she said. “But that’s not the choice I made.”
Angel Haze (2015)
The most recent spring concert was performed by rapper and singer Angel Haze. According to the Mount Holyoke website, Haze is best known for the 2013 album “Dirty Gold” which reached the top 20 spot on the Billboard 200 list. They have also collaborated with Ludacris.
Haze was selected as the perfect artist for 2015’s concert because, as a singer and rapper, they were widely popular among the student body. According to the Fader, Haze most recently released a single “Resurrection” in 2016 and is slated to put out their sophomore album this year.