Following a world tour and an appearance at Ultra Music Festival, respectively, Kendrick Lamar and Steve Aoki will headline the 2013 Last Day of Classes concert. The LDOC committee, chaired by senior Bo Triplett and sophomore Izzy Dover, announced the headliners Thursday night at midnight via text message, Twitter and Facebook. In addition to Aoki and Lamar, LDOC will host Travis Porter, an American hip-hop trio. Aoki and Lamar will come as part of a packaged college tour music deal and will be bringing one or two additional artists, to be announced at a later date. Additionally, the committee is working on securing a “jam band” as an opening act, Triplett said, for a grand total of either five or six artists. The up-and-coming careers of Aoki and Lamar make this year’s LDOC particularly exciting, Dover noted.
“We were really lucky with timing this year, and it’s cool to be able to contribute to a larger LDOC legacy of bringing artists here right before they get very famous,” Dover said.
Dover noted that both artists encompass completely separate genres, so the concert will appeal to a variety of music-lovers. Aoki is an electro house musician, whereas Lamar is an emerging rapper. Aoki—who will perform for a second time at Ultra Music Festival this year—started his own label, entitled Dim Mak Records, in 1995 and released his first album, Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles, in 2008. His father is a famous Japanese wrestler and started the restaurant chain Benihana. Lamar is a member of the group Black Hippy and most recently known for touring with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. He cites Tupac Shakur as his favorite artist, inspiring both his music and lifestyle.
Through bringing a wider variety of artists, Dover said that this year’s committee hopes to change the atmosphere of LDOC from a continuous, outdoor party to an exciting, energetic music festival.
“The overarching goal is to make [LDOC] more of a music festival than a binge drinking excuse,” Dover said. “We want a change in culture and are trying to make it about the music.”
Adam Tobey, the middle agent utilized by the committee to book their artists, said that the college tour aspect of the Aoki and Lamar’s package will lead to a more concert-like feel.
“This tour really fit in to the whole experiential component of it, being more than just a show,” Tobey said. “This is a very good deal, and these are very popular acts that on their own can sell thousands of tickets. With the tour behind it, it adds to the experience.”
Triplett said that the committee has increased the amount of promotional events LDOC will have—Vitamin Water has been secured as an official sponsor of the event—and hopes to increase student involvement during the day.
“We’d really like student groups to get involved with us for daytime man power of putting on these events,” Triplett said.
Ultimately, Triplett said that LDOC is about bringing the Duke community together for one last day before the school year ends and should not simply stop with each group isolating their selves from the student body.
“The one thing that I’ve heard people say most often about LDOC is that it’s one of the few events Duke has left that brings the entire community together,” Triplett said. “Any way that we can foster that, such as encouraging groups to be not just together but to be with all of Duke, will add to everyone’s experience.”