Big Show 9 stays true to students as it brings Lupe Fiasco, Talib Kweli, DJ Felli Fel and Far East Movement to CSUN

Avi Yashaya

CSUN played host Saturday to the ninth annual of Big Show festival. Put on by students for students, it sure was big this year. In the eternal struggle between booking a flavor of the month big name or to find a well-established artist, no compromise was needed.

Lupe Fiasco has had a rich career. After the critical success of his debut studio album “Food and Liquor” and the conceptual followup of “The Cool,” Fiasco fascinated everyone with his crossover success from indie to hip-hop. Major credit goes out to the booking of Lupe Fiasco as well as strong support from Talib Kweli.

Although music is and will always be the main focus of Big Show, the Associated Students and S.P.A.C.E did a bang-up job of making the concert more of a community experience. Festivities included giant blow up slides, games, and booths set up to help some of CSUN’s clubs with fundraising. Local vendors were on hand as well to provide fuel for the occasion, ranging from tacos to Sprinkles Cupcakes. The addition of all these elements helped amp up school spirit and boost the event to festival status, creating a unique sense of community not often seen at a commuter school.

Lupe Fiasco may have been the main draw for a majority of attendants, but the opening support was nothing to overlook for true hip-hop fans. Strong Arm Steady was the first act to break the filler after a lengthy warm-up DJ set from Power 106’s own DJ Felli Fel. A new group, Far East Movement, followed up with a stylish set that featured interplay between the DJ and emcees that channeled classic acts.

As for the main event, Fiasco busted out all the stops to ensure the show stayed true to its name and being “Big” in all aspects. His attitude carried the big band sound and an over-the-top lighting setup. It’s nice to see a college campus host a rapper that addresses his crowd intelligently, almost like a professor, covering sentiments of war, political, and social awareness. He addressed such issues while still having so much fun, which he manages to do with ease. Fiasco ran through his massive catalog of hits such as skater anthem “Kick Push”, breezy “Paris Tokyo,” and megahit “Superstar.” The combination of a DJ, a drummer and a guitarist lent to an organic yet sleek sound that feels like the future of hip-hop.

Talib Kweli rounded out the bill and closed out the evening, which had its draws as a mass of people dissipated after Lupe’s powerful set. Talib Kewli may not have the same name recognition, but being an underground staple for years it was nice to see a core group of his devoted fans being treated to a raw performance.

This year felt like a total success and hopefully, the evolution of Big Show.Big