As excitement builds for this year’s Spring Fling, some students have reservations.
A number of students on campus have recently spoken out against the choice of Tyga as a performer in this year’s Fling concert. The individuals take issue with many of Tyga’s lyrics, which they claim feature misogynistic and racist themes.
College senior Emily Goshey was the first to bring the discussion into the public sphere when she submitted a guest column to The Daily Pennsylvanian Sunday. The column, which received almost 300 Facebook likes and generated a buzz of 74 comments, inspired others to join her point of view.
Many students have seen and remarked on flyers posted all over campus — from Van Pelt Library bathrooms to Locust Walk bulletin boards — which have vulgar Tyga lyrics printed on them. Goshey and her friends were the ones who put them up.
“My friends and I got together a document of some lyrics we thought could spark a conversation on campus. So we started it, but then I got all these emails by other people asking for the document, so that they could start printing their own flyers up,” Goshey said.
She admits that now, she doesn’t know who continues to put them up.
Goshey and her friends gathered their supporters into a Google Group called We Can Do Better. The group aims to create a “unified vision” for students who wanted “better than Tyga.”
The group’s goals include giving a “voice to those who would object to the content of Tyga’s lyrics and therefore object to Penn paying him to perform on campus” and aiming to “raise awareness about the content of Tyga’s lyrics.”
The Social Planning and Events Committee could not be reached in time for comment.
This isn’t the first time students have reacted negatively to a Fling artist.
In 2010, then College senior Lindsay Eierman and College junior Rachel Cohen wrote a letter to the SPEC protesting the choice of Snoop Dogg— saying his lyrics are misogynistic. They also created a petition asking SPEC about their criteria for selecting the performer. Snoop Dogg still went on to perform at Fling.
Goshey stresses that she does not want to coerce anyone into rallying against Tyga.
“We’re not trying to get Amy Gutmann to come here and blow a whistle and say, ‘No, Tyga can’t come.’” she said. “But if we can get the students to band together and say that ‘we can do better than Tyga,’ I think that would be a beautiful thing.”
While Goshey and her supporters are working to bring conversation to Penn’s campus, some students remain ambivalent with the choice of Tyga.
“I think that’s just rap culture and popular music,” said Wharton and Engineering freshman Oliver Jenkins. “I wouldn’t say it bothers me too much.”
Wharton junior Manmeet Singh reacted similarly. “I think it’s maybe not as great a choice as Wiz Khalifa or Snoop Dogg, but you know everyone’s going to go crazy when he plays ‘Rack City,’” he said.
With regards to Tyga’s lyrical content, Singh added, “I’m interested to see if he uses those lyrics. You know it’s Spring Fling, and I trust SPEC to bring someone good. I’m not necessarily going to avoid it just because the lyrics might be vulgar.”