BSU hosted a Versus Battle where two POC artists' music faced off. - Arts & Entertainment Intern / Al Harmon

Rowan University’s Black Student Union (BSU) held one of their Versus Battles on March 21 which is part of their spring semester events. Through collaborative and unified efforts, BSU aims to create an intersectional, supportive and sustainable voice for the Black student body at Rowan University.

Zakeria Sykes, a junior psychology major with a minor in law and justice, is the current president of BSU. She started off as the event coordinator for the organization but was picked by Jamar Green, the previous president of BSU.

“I love BSU, everyone knows that this is my baby,” Skyes said. “I love BSU more than anything. I love the student body so I’d do anything for you guys. Anytime I hear an issue or a problem I’m on it directly.” 

The Versus Battle event is one of the most popular events in BSU’s spring semester lineup. They have these battles once a month with three of them in total. It starts with two people, usually the organizers, selecting two popular POC artists and picking 10 songs from that artist’s discography. 

One song of the ten is played by each artist and the crowd in attendance gets to decide which song is better. This is done for all ten songs, each one potentially earning a point per round. The winner of the battle is the artist with the most points by the end of the round.

BSU aims to provide a space where students of color can come together, socialize and feel at home. With Rowan University being a predominantly white school, many non-white students don’t see their type of culture around campus, specifically when it comes to music. Sykes hopes the Versus Battle event simply allows BIPOC people to have a space that allows them to listen to music that they are familiar with and grew up with.

“I hope this event just brings the BIPOC community together to listen to some good music because we go to a PWI [predominately white institution] so our music isn’t played throughout campus when you’re walking down the street,” Sykes said.

Two of the biggest stars in hip-hop, Lil Wayne and Future, were chosen as the two performers for the Versus Battle. The event planners chose 10 tracks from each artist’s catalog, including Future’s “Too Comfortable,” “Turn on the Lights” and “Mask Off,” as well as Lil Wayne’s “A Milli,” “Lollipop” and “How to Love.” The audience was active the entire time, supporting their favorite songs and performers.

Although the race was close, Lil Wayne ultimately prevailed because his selection of albums was simply too strong to pass up. Everyone who attended had a terrific time and enjoyed listening to some of the best hip-hop music around. 

The small group that attended had a great time, enjoying the music and the company. Sykes, along with the rest of BSU, is committed to continuing to create a space for the BIPOC community at Rowan University.

The Black Student Union at Rowan University continues to create events and initiatives that aim to empower and support the BIPOC community on campus. From events like the Versus Battle to many more like it, BSU is dedicated to making a difference and creating a more inclusive campus for all students.

Keep up with more BSU events by following them on Instagram @bsurowan.

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