On Tuesday, December 8th, The University of Michigan’s Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity chapter hosted a charity concert event at The Michigan Theatre. The headliner for the show, Juicy J, had the theater going up on Tuesday to help raise money for Charity: Water. All proceeds were donated to the charity. And, students, as well as Ann Arbor locals, came out to support the great cause while having fun doing it!
Charity: Water is a non-profit charity organization that seeks to provide clean, safe drinking water to people living in impoverished countries around the world. Since 2006, they have benefited over 4.6 million people in over 22 different countries.
Fraternities and sororities are often involved in some kind of philanthropic or charity work on campus. The University of Michigan chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) is no different. When asked “why Charity: Water?”, sophomore and executive board member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, Ryan Walker, stated “we set out to do this concert to have fun and bring together the U of M community, but also to raise money for a truly inspiring cause.”
While Charity: Water is not the frat’s main charity connection, all of the proceeds made at the concert are going towards the organization’s cause. DKE is very dedicated to their philanthropy and volunteering. About a year ago, for MRelay, U of M’s Relay for Life event, DKE helped raise almost $100,000 for cancer research. This was the most amount of money raised in the country for any contributor! Walker hopes that DKE can one day become a campus leader in regards to philanthropy. They even aspire to host more charity concerts, such as Get Wet with Juicy J, to provide participants with a good time, but also a chance to give back.
The University of Michigan, is a campus that focuses on student involvement, both on campus and in the surrounding Ann Arbor area. Because of this, DKE chose to open the Juicy J show with several local groups and musicians to help hype up the crowd. Pinnacle Ent. with Dj LiXxer, Munch Music, and Juicy J’s openers, Lurkgang, were among these artists. We had the amazing opportunity to speak with these performers, and, ask them a few questions about what it’s like being the beat of Ann Arbor’s music scene. They all referenced how much it meant to them to be involved in a concert, that wasn’t just about the fun (although a lot was definitely had!) but would also benefit those in need. The artists also emphasized the importance of their local scene, and how special it is to have so much love and support from Ann Arbor, and beyond.
Pinnacle Entertainment, a hip-hop duo consisting of Ann Arbor natives Killa P. and Xzanthus, are not newcomers to the Ann Arbor, or even Michigan, music scene. As a group deeply rooted in Ann Arbor’s music arena, they are always looking out for, and supporting, other local musicians. When asked why they wanted to be apart of DKE’s benefit concert, they state that they like to go deeper than being just about the music. Their mission, “to showcase their level of lyricism through hip-hop and community service.” Killa P continues, by stating that they’re also trying to restore the true meaning of hip-hop, and music in general. They are trying to do this by uplifting the youth and serving as influential mentors.
Next up among the openers, Munch Music, another rapper doing it big in Ann Arbor, and beyond. We spoke with the U of M undergraduate, asking him how it feels to be a performer and a student, his reply, “life is all about balance. It’s all about building your schedule around what you love doing.” He continues, by commenting on how great the energy was at the Juicy J concert, and, that it’s moments such as this one that fuels his drive.
Both artists have been involved in other local shows and performances, and have no intentions of stopping anytime soon. The people love them here! And, there’s a lot to love when talented people can not only make and play awesome music, have people vibing in the crowd, but include an even more powerful purpose to their music.
Charity concerts, such as DKE’s Juicy J show, are super meaningful to campus life, believe it or not. It’s so close to exam time that students are always looking for a way to get out and have a good time before the stress hits. However, going out becomes something more when having fun is also helping people all over the world.
The DKE brothers explained to us that they chose Juicy J to headline their show because he is an artist that is relevant to their fraternity, and campus overall. They had hoped he would bring in a lot of people to raise money for Charity: Water, and keep the party going, which he most certainly did.
Personally, we think it’s great to see such a big name in hip hop being active in charity concerts, and campus concerts overall. Celebrities mean a lot to many people. Therefore, when we get to see them do something with others in mind, it could really help encourage their fans to do the same. Get Wet With Juicy J was a super high-energy show; with openers like Lurkgang having a lot of people onstage to help amp up the crowd. They got the whole audience engaged, by interacting with them and keeping the anticipation high for Juicy J’s performance.
Finally, the incorporation of local favorites like Pinnacle and Munch Music helps connect us to our community on a much larger scale. The whole show, from the first opener to when Juicy J, himself, hit the stage, was buzzing with excitement and energy. University of Michigan students are notoriously known for knowing how to “work hard and play harder”. Get Wet With Juicy J was so much more than just a rap show on campus, it was a perfect blending of all of the important aspects of what it means to be a Wolverine. The show was a huge success for DKE and Charity:Water, and we can’t wait to see what the frat has planned for us next!
Written by: Sarah Gorcyca and Esohe Osabuohien