SIU alumnus promotes music diversity in Carbondale with MMG artist

By Tierra Carpenter, @TierraMC_

An artist signed to Rick Ross’ music label will perform in Carbondale and his show will feature not only an SIU alumnus, but current students as well. 

Maybach Music Group artist Stalley will be at Hangar 9 on Wednesday thanks to university alumnus Shannon Waldron, who wants to bring more rap and hip-hop music to the area.

Waldron’s marketing company, Urban Fêtes, worked with the venue to bring the 33-year-old rapper to Carbondale. He was inspired to bring such events to the city when he heard other alumni say the area has lacked diverse entertainment in recent years.


“They were like, ‘You need to do something in Carbondale. You should build a relationship with a venue and put something together,’” Waldron said. “I’m almost disappointed at how the current event presence is right now in Carbondale, so whatever I can do to help that and provide a platform for the students and the folks who are down there, I’m willing to do that.”

Caylan Hill, event and general manager of Hangar 9, said Waldron told him his plans for the event and he got on board. Hill said he isn’t sure that Carbondale is lacking in diverse events, but he could understand how some people think that.

He said for Hangar 9, the only goal is to provide top-quality entertainment, regardless of genre, and Stalley fits the bill. 

“We just want to put the best type of entertainment and events together for not only SIU and Carbondale, but for the whole region of southern Illinois,” he said. “We don’t see it beneficial to look at it as an urban event or a country event or an older-crowd event. If it’s good entertainment, that’s all we really tend to focus on.”

Dexavier Langham, an SIU alumnus who performs with the stage name Lost!, has opened for artists such as Juicy J and Twista, but said performing before Stalley means a lot to him.

“It’s a great opportunity to open up for such a talent,” Langham said. “[Stalley] has been grinding to get to where he’s going. Now he’s giving me the opportunity to do the same. It’s a stepping stone I have to go through, to get to where I’m trying to go.”

Dorian Huff, a senior from Chicago studying radio, television and digital media, is the show’s DJ and vice president of Live Young, an organization promoting the show. He helped choose the talent for the show, which includes at least three current students.


Huff reached out to students who had performed at “The Showcase” events hosted by Live Young along with registered student organizations, Underground Arts and Oops! Entertainment last semester. “The Showcase” was a weekly talent show that will return to campus Thursday in the Big Muddy Room of the Student Center.

“We looked to the people that were regulars that definitely put forth effort in putting together their music,” Huff said.

Albert Koger, who goes by the stage name AJ 773, will open the show alongside Simba Woodard and Dun Dolla. Kroger said this will be the most important show he’s ever done. Woodard, is a sophomore from Nashville, Tenn., studying journalism. 

Hill said Hangar 9 listens to the public’s ideas because the staff doesn’t have all the connections to find artists to perform.

“When something sounds good and sounds like it makes sense for us to do, then we tend to try to form that relationship,” he said.

Hill said he welcomes everyone to come and enjoy the show, especially those who wish to have more events like this in the future. 

“It would be a little remiss if you’re seeking out events such as this one, and then you don’t show up to the events that do come to town,” he said.

Tierra Carpenter can be reached at [email protected]