Florida-born rapper Cochise will headline the Fall Concert on November 11. The performance, which is sponsored by the Entertainment Board (eBoard) and will be hosted in Smith Union, marks the revival of an event that hasn’t been held in three years due to pandemic-related restrictions.
The 24-year-old rapper is best known for his Billboard-charting hit “Tell ‘Em,” which trended on video-sharing platform TikTok. This year, he was included in hip hop magazine XXL’s freshman class of up-and-coming artists, which has previously included performers like Kendrick Lamar and Megan Thee Stallion.
“We thought it’d be good to have a rapper with songs that most people know. He’s pretty big on TikTok,” eBoard co-chair Kelvin Welbeck ’24 said. “He’s a good performer, and we’ve noticed that’s sometimes more important than just having big artists.”
Cochise’s music is defined by fast-paced, energetic melodies and the frequent use of ad-libs. Alex Tesson ’23, co-chair of the eBoard, believes that the rapper’s lively performance style will make the concert memorable, even for those who aren’t fans of the genre.
“It’s the first Fall Concert in years, so it’s nice to get someone young and energetic,” Tesson said. “You don’t have to like rap to have a good time at a concert. Just let yourself listen to the music.”
The “Hatchback” rapper was chosen over other more expensive options, including “OOOUUU” rapper Young M.A.. Although reaction to the announcement has been positive, some students are skeptical about the eBoard’s choice of artist.
Despite looking forward to the performance, Sophia Feinerman ’22 is somewhat frustrated by what she sees as Cochise’s lack of name recognition.
“I would have preferred a more well-known artist. I heard that Colby got Yung Gravy,” she said. “I’m sure Cochise will be great, but he’s not as well known as others.”
Jasmine Jia ’25 echoed Feinerman’s sentiment, believing that the “Pocket Rocket” rapper is too niche.
“Someone more well-known would be more accessible for people with other music tastes,” Jia said.
eBoard members understand these sentiments and hope to bring more non-rap artists to Bowdoin in the future.
“We’re conscious of the fact that people are wary of us overusing rap,” Tesson said. “It’s exciting to know that we’ll have a high-energy rapper come in the fall because we can leave ourselves open in the spring.”
Welbeck and Tesson see the upcoming concert as a revival of a time-honored Bowdoin tradition. Prior to the pandemic, the eBoard hosted the Fall Concert towards the middle of each fall semester, with past headliners including Chicago rapper Tobi Lou and electronic duo Louis the Child.
“If you leave a tradition alone for more than four years, it dies. There’s a whole generation of Bowdoin students who haven’t experienced anything like this,” Tesson said.
Although there were loose plans to host a Fall Concert last year, a Covid outbreak on campus put a stop to any ideas for an event. Students like Feinerman, who have attended past Fall Concerts, are excited to see Smith Union filled with music one more time.
“I’m a sucker for live music. It’s fun to be with your friends and dance,” Feinerman said.
Tara O’Malley ’24, who hasn’t experienced a Fall Concert before, echoed this thought.
“I know Cochise a little bit, but I’m a fan. I’m glad they’re bringing the concert back; I’ve never had it before,” she said.
According to Tesson, the budget for the concert is equivalent to last year’s spring concert that featured rapper IDK as the headliner. With this budget, Tesson hopes that the eBoard will be able to put on a show that will bring students some much-needed joy.
“Bowdoin lacks landmark events,” he said. “Other than Ivies, there’s like one other thing that everyone looks forward to from September to April. Those are some sad, cold months. It’s nice to have one event to light the tunnel.”