Homecoming week is finally back and filled with plenty of events for students to enjoy. From Aux Cord Wars to carnivals and parades, this year is sure to make up for time we lost due to the pandemic.
Joining the lineup this year is South Memphis’ own, Young Dolph and special guest and fellow rap veteran, Waka Flocka Flame.
“When it was announced, I was excited because I am a fan of his music. I bought my ticket immediately,” Randle Carter, a communications major at the U of M.
Carter is not the only one excited for the event, either. As of Nov. 1, 2,360 tickets have been claimed for the concert. Even students like Vahleria Crockett, who has seen Young Dolph perform live before, are still taking advantage of the opportunity to see him again.
“Overall, I’m excited because it’s homecoming and the tickets were free,” she said.
The Bluff City Bash is one of the more notable events that happens every year during homecoming week. The annual concert has previously featured some of the hottest artists in the entertainment industry including Jhene Aiko, Fetty Wap, 21 Savage, Playboy Carti and T.I.
The Student Activities Council (SAC) is responsible for throwing the concert. After creating a list of potential artists and confirming their availability, they then choose musicians based off who they feel will provide the best show for the event. The committee released the performers via Instagram nearly a month ago and several students began sharing the post and expressing their excitement for the concert.
“This will be my first homecoming experience at the University of Memphis. I can’t wait to see Young Dolph live, he has so much love for the city,” said Aalicia Lee, a 20-year-old student at the university.
Known for hit singles like “Preach” and “Major,” Young Dolph, whose real name is Adolph Thornton Jr., is the self-proclaimed King of Memphis, making him the perfect fit for the 2021 bash. Under his own label, Paper Route Empire (PRE), Thornton has gone from mixtapes to albums hitting the top of the Billboard charts. He’s done major collaborations with artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Gucci Mane, Key Glock among others.
His music, which can be described as street and aggressive, talks a lot about his life and things he has witnessed. With bass-thumping beats and true lyrics, he greatly represents Memphis through his music and sound.
According to Mary Tyler, the senior coordinator of student engagement, Dolph will be paid $110,000 to grace the stage in front of screaming U of M fans. That’s a quite a raise from previous years when the university only spent roughly between $50,000 to $85,000 to bring artists to campus.
Thorton’s performance celebrating the University of Memphis’ homecoming also dispels the recent rumors about his retirement. He recently told hip hop news site, Complex, back in July that he can't retire because he feels an obligation to his fans.
Although he isn’t a native Memphian, Thornton will be performing alongside another legendary rapper that students are likely excited to see as well.
Originally hailing from New York City, Waka Flocka Flame, whose real name is Juaquin James Malphurs, is best known for his hit club bangers like “Hard In da Paint” and “No Hands.” Both tracks came out in 2010 and are still popular to this day.
The bash will be hosted at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are free for students and $25 for guests. All students seeking admission to the bash must show their ID along with their ticket.
Young Dolph in 2017. A household name for Memphis rap fans, the artist made the Billboard Top 200 in 2019 with Dum and Dummer, a collaboration album with fellow Memphis rapper, Key Glock.