No, not a New York-born hip-hop heavyweight like Jay-Z or Nicki Minaj. Instead it will be Tone Loc, of all people, entertaining the orange-clad masses.
Maybe some of the 15- and 16-year-olds Syracuse is recruiting have a deep appreciation for old-school rap, but none of them were even born when Tone Loc was last relevant as an artist. "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina" both hit the Billboard charts in 1989, when Jim Boeheim still had a full head of hair and a closet full of plaid leisure suits.
The other schools who have booked rappers for their Midnight Madness events have not surprisingly gone with artists who will appeal to today's high school and college kids. Rick Ross will be at Memphis Madness next month. Wale headlined Georgetown's event last year. And Jay Wright even managed to lure 50 Cent to Villanova's season tip-off five years ago.
As if to prove it's not entirely out of touch with pop culture, Syracuse did book Deena from the "Jersey Shore" to sign autographs and mingle with the crowd next month. Of course, the school referred to her as "Deena from Jersey Show" in its press release, so we can't be too sure exactly who is going to show up.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Tone Loc was Syracuse's choice considering who the school booked for its Midnight Madness concert last year. The featured entertainment was hip-hop group Naughty By Nature, a platinum seller in the mid-'90s but now more past their prime than 6-week-old milk.
If Syracuse's goal is to attract hip-hop historians, maybe Doug-E-Fresh will be on next year's Midnight Madness lineup. Otherwise maybe it's time the Orange try to book an artist whose last single didn't hit the charts before the invention of dial-up Internet.
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