The New 1017 HBCU Takeover event hosted by artist Gucci Mane was canceled at Florida A&M University on Oct. 19 due to flight issues.
In efforts to market the newly released “So Icy Boyz” project, Gucci Mane and his artists traveled to HBCUs to create buzz through listening parties. The schools included Howard University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, Texas Southern University and Florida A&M University.
“The cancelation of the New 1017 was unfortunate,” said Gensen Surpris, a DJ at 90.5 the Flava Station.
“With homecoming around the corner, I definitely looked forward to exposing our campus to some new music. Furthermore, I was looking forward to our student journalists getting the experience to interview some well known artists. The New 1017 had pretty interesting experiences at Howard University the week before with their students currently protesting. I’m sure they would have had a lot to say,” said Surpris.
1017 was established in 2008 and was assembled by American rapper and record executive Gucci Mane. The artists signed to the label are Bic Fizzle, Big Walk Dog, Hotboy Wes, Enchanting, Foggiano, Big Scarr and, the most famous, Pooh Shiesty. The label went through quiet periods but relaunched in 2020 during the pandemic.
“The pandemic is how I popped off my label,” said Gucci Mane to Billboard Charts.
“While everybody [else] is going to sit on their money, I’m going to come out and sign artists. That was my whole strategy … We’ve been like a family. I want to make my artists a part of everything I do. And we’re going to all grow together,” Gucci said.
Gucci Mane has been making these kinds of connections for a very long time.
At a young age he was inspired by Jermaine Dupri in hopes to discover another duo like Kriss Kross. Working his way through the rap scene in Atlanta, Gucci had hands in the discovery of many top artists and producers such as Zaytoven, Mike WiLL Made-It, Metro Boomin, Migos and Young Thug.
“This would’ve been a huge opportunity to go and make connections in the music industry,” said Abe Drisdom, a FAMU student and musical artist.
“Gucci is a successful rap artist, and he has a lot of experience in the industry. I would’ve been able to learn a lot from him and his artists. In the future I hope that we can have more events like this occur, so I can learn and gain so much experience from these individuals,” Drisdom said.
HBCUs aren’t unusual for celebrity pop up events. Artists such as NBA Youngboy and Rod Wave made surprise visits to FAMU, quickly generating large crowds and attention on social media.
Black colleges and universities have been incubators of the current and upcoming culture. Many celebrities have begun to partner with HBCUs, such as LeBron James with Florida A&M University and Phylicia Rashad with Howard University.
The New 1017 HBCU Takeover is expected to make its last stop at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas on Oct. 20.