The Florida A&M University Proactive Volunteer Organization hosted the second annual “Rap it Up” STD awareness, freestyle battle competition Monday night. The event was held in Lee Hall, and was packed with students from the start.
“This event was made to be an entertaining way to spread information about safe sex,” said Tiffany Williams, a third-year business administration student from Hattiesburg, Miss. and president of the organization.
The show began with a performance by the Boys of Poison dance troupe. Their creative and original dances, ranged from shirtless dances to throwing condoms in the crowd. By the end of their performance, they had the crowd “crunk” and ready for the freestyling to begin.
Kevin Mitchell, a third-year pharmacy student from Miami and Chloe Williams, a third-year business administration student from Chicago hosted the show. The hosts introduced the judges and paused for a safe sex fact (one after every round following).
The information, which included facts and statistics about different sex-related health issues, was distributed to encourage students to practice safe sex and “wrap it up,” or use protection when engaging in sex.
The host introduced the first contestants and explained the rules, then a coin was flipped to determine who would go first.
The beats the rappers battled to were provided by DJ Skills, a Chicago native and junior broadcast journalism student who is better known as Jason Cole.
After each battle, the judges voted and the chosen contestants advanced to the next round.
The competition was made of six men and two women.
After the second round of competition and another safe-sex fact, Mahogany dance troupe performed and received a great response from the crowd.
The “peanut butter and jelly” contest, a popular dance in Miami, gave the crowd a chance to really get involved. Five randomly selected students competed to see who could do the dance the best based on the crowd’s applause.
The crowd loved it, and some audience members even did the dance in their seats.
They eventually returned to the battle, which by most was named the championship before the championship, as the contestants were so competitive each needed an additional round to prove to the judges and the crowd that they should advance.
Following the round, Epicurean modeled for the crowd.
The audience was given the chance to witness members of the Beta Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. do their infamous line dance, followed by members of the Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. shortly after.
After another round of battling, Divas dance troupe performed.
Just before the final round, Mr. FAMU, Ryan Morand, delivered a brief speech on safe sex and attempted to further persuade students to not only practice safe sex, but practice abstinence as well.
In the final round of competition, the two contestants had one minute to make a lasting impression. In a unanimous decision, the self-proclaimed Lady Hov, better known as Jasmine Conner, was declared the winner.
Many students appreciated her performance.
“I liked the Divas and Epicurean, but I feel like Lady Hov stole the show,” said Marques Bivins, a third-year business management student from Temple Hills, Md.
The show concluded with Conner being awarded $100, a trophy and a victory verse to spit for the crowd.
Although there were a few technical difficulties, some students felt the audience could have gotten a better show.
“I thought it was straight, but the microphones were a little too low,” said Kelli Robinson, a junior economics student from Mt. Vernon, N.Y. “Although you couldn’t hear them that well, I see what they were trying to do.”
Ralph Presley, a junior engineering student from Miami, said though he enjoyed the show, the noise from the crowd caused some lyrics, punch lines and messages to go unheard.
Williams said she plans to include FSU and TCC in the show next year and reach out to Tallahassee as a whole.
According to Williams, the message of safe sex is not just for FAMU students, but for everyone.
Contact Arize Ifejika at firstname.lastname@example.org.