By: Takia Venable
Dressed in a black ensemble, hair neatly pressed and black Adidas Ultra Boost X sneakers with grey accents, Texas Southern University Professor Serbino Sandifer-Walker assigned jobs to students in a room humming with excitement.
“You will be my senior reporter, I need to add you to Google Docs so that you will have all of the information that you need,” Walker said to one eager student.
The makeshift newsroom, located inside of a classroom in the TV studio of the MLK building was overwhelmed with aspiring journalists, videographers, editors and reporters with different jobs appointed by the professor.
All of these students were participants in the School of Communication's annual week long conference. The week started with a concert showcasing the talents of the students of TSU and artists from around Houston on Monday, April 16.
Loud music blasting the latest Hip-Hop and R&B hits could be heard throughout the campus while students and faculty gathered with anticipation of witnessing the performances.
Yellow caution tape surrounded the performance area and the DJ booth, which separated the audience from the performers.
When Drakes latest hit “Nice for What” came blaring from the speakers, TSU student and performer Kristan “Greatness” Thomas gave the audience a brief dance spectacle.
“We have three more minutes until show time,” the emcee said.
Everyone was instructed to clear the sides of the performance area if they were not an artist because the show was about to begin.
Big Will, the first artist, was introduced to the crowd and his presence and raspy voice demanded everyone’s attention.
His long sleeve black t-shirt paired with his cut off sweat shorts and low cut black and white vans sneakers showed his unique sense of style.
While most would have expected Big Will to rap a song, he surprised the crowd by breaking out into a melodic tune.
Singing an original piece in which he wrote titled “Worship the Lord”, Big Will’s voice roared through the speakers as pain was heard in his words.
Following Big Will’s soulful performance, was the energetic artist Greatness.
Short in stature but demanding the stage with his high energy and outgoing personality.
“Man, this needs to come down,” Greatness said, referring to the caution tape that separated the audience from the performers.
He performed three songs from his collection of self-produced music and showed his dance moves while interacting with the audience.
“He flowed with the audience,” said Ania Sherman, a broadcast journalism major, complimenting his efforts to engage with the crowd to ensure that his performance was felt.
“It was almost like an actual concert than a student held event,” Sherman said.
While interviewing Greatness after his performance, he gave fans and spectators more insight of his artistry.
“I’m really an artist to be honest with you, because when you’re putting together a production on a record it takes a certain amount of mental skill to get people to engage,” Greatness said.
Being careful not to corner himself into one specific genre, he simply labeled himself as an entertainer.
“It would be literally impossible for me to stick myself into one genre because of the multiplicity of things that I do,” Greatness said.
Although only 21-years-old, many of his influences were artists from the early 1990’s.
“Sugarhill Gang, Tupac, and Kendrick Lamar are some of the artists that I am inspired by,” Greatness said.
Also in attendance were TSU students and owners of Royal Rouge radio, Cam-Universe and BG The Great.
Both ladies were fashionably dressed in colorful pieces. Their vibes matched the energy filled in the air.
Both transfer students from Southern University in Baton Rouge Louisiana, they were super excited about TSU’s Comm Week.
“I definitely think that Comm Week is very beneficial for students to get real life experiences before pursuing their careers after college,” BG The Great said.
Overall, the kick off talent showcase was enjoyed by everyone and leaves many wondering what is expected for the rest of the week.
“It was remarkable because I've never seen my peers showcase their talents,” Cam-Universe said.