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The Dartmouth
June 17, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Shaggy, Young M.A to perform at Programming Board Green Key concert

The May 17 show will be opened by student band Read Receipts.

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On May 1, Programming Board announced in an Instagram post that Shaggy will headline the 2024 Green Key concert on May 17, featuring Young M.A. Battle of the Bands winner Read Receipts will play before Young M.A, with the concert beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Gold Coast Lawn.

Shaggy, a Jamaican-born artist who moved to New York City in his teens, began his musical career as a dancehall master of ceremonies — or MC — in Brooklyn. In 1993, Shaggy signed his first record deal following the breakout success of his cover of “Oh Carolina.” With several commercial hits, including “It Wasn’t Me,” “Boombastic” and “Banana,” Shaggy has sold more than 40 million album units to date and is the only diamond-selling dancehall artist in history.

Young M.A is a Brooklyn-based rapper who rose to prominence after her 2016 track “Ooouuu” became a viral hit. Nominated for multiple awards — including MTV’s “Artist of the Year” and BET’s “Best Female Hip Hop Artist” — she has also been described by Time Magazine as “making waves in the [hip-hop] industry” for her success as an openly lesbian rapper. 

According to PB executive board chair Kennedy Wiehle ’25, the organization “strives to appeal” to as many students as possible when choosing Green Key performers. As a result, the concert features multiple artists with “diverse” sounds to avoid “[alienating] a lot of campus.”

“Maybe if ‘artist X’ isn’t your preferred genre or your favorite artist, then maybe ‘artist Y’ will have some appeal for you,” she said.

Wiehle added that PB chose this year’s performers based on the results of two surveys, which were initially emailed to the student body on Jan. 4 and Feb. 27. PB used the first survey, which asked questions about preferred genres, to create a list of artists who are “generally available” and within the group’s allocated budget. Student organizers then evaluated the list of potential artists through the second survey.  

“Once we get [the artist survey] back, we start looking at combinations of headliners and openers that would make sense together,” Wiehle said. “In addition, with the data that we get back from the second survey and going down that list, the Programming Board starts to discuss who we [can] afford together, and if they’re still available.”

According to the results of this year’s genre survey — which were posted on PB’s website — the most popular genres were “pop or indie-pop” and “hip-hop/rap.” Out of 488 respondents, 56.2% of students gave a “5” rating to the question, “On a scale from 1-5, how much would you like to see pop or indie-pop represented in the Green Key lineup?” and 25.1% of students gave a “5” rating for a similar question about hip-hop/rap.

Wiehle noted that there remains “a lot of confusion” on campus about the details of PB’s selection process. PB publishes the results of the genre survey publicly and keeps all of its meetings open “specifically for that reason,” she added.

“I invite people who are confused or curious about the process to definitely come to a Programming Board meeting,” Wiehle said.

Phineas Callahan ’25, a member of the student band Toad Boat, said he has “heard a couple of Shaggy’s songs and heard of Young M.A from viral videos” and is “excited” to see them perform. Alan Hatch ’25, a member of the student band Blue Moose, noted that having a “receptive audience” is critical to successful performances.

“Thinking about what music students are going to know and be able to sing to is pretty important when picking a Green Key artist,” Hatch said. “It makes a really big difference for the general ambiance and energy that’s brought to a show.”

Hatch said he attended the 2023 Green Key concert headlined by Neon Trees and 2022’s Green Key concert co-headlined by Saint-Motel and KYLE. Last year’s event was “really awesome” because he was “super hyped” for Neon Trees, he explained.

Wiehle said the process of determining the Green Key artist is “long” but “a lot of fun,” adding that PB has a range of artists from which to choose.

“Green Key is a hard thing to imagine when you’re at the very start of the process,” Wiehle said. “But we get there every year, and it’s definitely a fun time.”