Daily Egyptian

Local organization, sorority host concert for student scholarship

By Diamond Jones, Daily Egyptian

Chicago rappers Lil Bibby and G Herbo, who rose to fame after a song they did in high school gained 15 million views on YouTube, will perform at SIU to raise money for a Carbondale Community High School student to attend college.

The duo, along with other up-and-coming musicians from Chicago, will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Shryock Auditorium.

Each ticket purchased for the concert will go toward the Dopamine Effect Scholarship, which gives a $500 scholarship to a CCHS student. Students will be selected by Ryan Reed Sr., CEO of Can I Live, LLC, based on an essay they write about how they would help fix a societal issue. Can I Live, which sponsors the scholarship and is presenting the concert, provides programs and services that helps marginalized groups and minority communities deal with a wealth of issues including, depression, violence and adjusting to cultural norms.

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“I originally knew I wanted to create a scholarship,” said Reed, an SIU alumnus from Flossmoor. “Carbondale has been going through tough times and this event is to help heal the soul while also giving back to the community and giving students something positive to look forward to.”

The auditorium holds 1,100 people, and a sold-out show is expected, said Ashley Wright, director of special event ticketing for Shryock.

She said people have been buying tickets throughout the week, potentially making this will be one of the campus’ most successful events of the year.

Reed said with the help of his business partners George Anderson and Law Cannon, they were able to persuade the rappers to give a performance. The Zeta Phi Beta sorority helped organize the event and is co-sponsoring the concert.

“What made us want to be involved was the scholarship, and we wanted to be able to help in any way possible,” said Kezia Darring, chapter president of Zeta Phi Beta and the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Darring also said Greek life students wanted to show that it’s not their events that cause violence — it’s individuals’ decisions. Darring was referring to a party associated with a fraternity that ended in a shooting that killed a 41-year-old Carbondale man last month.

No SIU students have been named as suspects in the case.

“Our community is SIU and SIU’s community is Carbondale, and as soon as we stop separating the two, the more harmony we will have,” said Darring, a senior from Chicago studying marketing.

With both Lil Bibby and G Herbo coming from the streets of Chicago, Reed said music is their outlet and many students can relate. He said people support these artists from rough backgrounds because they connect to their lyrics.

“It’s also about artists on the come up who want to be involved and still represent their community,” said Reed, a therapist who helps people with substance abuse issues and mental health problems. “People think rapping and sports are just a way out of certain circumstances, but what they don’t understand is that it helps further education as well.”

Full security and staff will be monitoring event as well as the Carbondale Police Department.

Tickets for the event are $30 for floor seats and $20 for balcony seats.

“If people are able to see others purchasing tickets, they will know that it will contribute to a high school student being able to go to college,” Reed said.

Diamond Jones can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.

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