By Bryan Menegus
Most students may be unaware, but Hofstra is home to a burgeoning community of underground rappers, DJs and hip-hop-minded individuals. Unfortunately, those who are aware seem not to care.
Over the past few semesters, the Rathskeller (that abandoned cafeteria near the game room) has become a regular haunt for Sixth Element, a club for and by Hofstra's hip-hop artists. Sixth Element regularly performs showcases there, featuring groups such as Basshead and Sarcasmo, as well as sets by the club's president, Mike Petrow. And this Wednesday was no different. For a scant three dollars, students were treated to a half dozen sets, ranging from endearingly amateurish and truly impressive, with some guest artists traveling as much as three hours to attend.
Unfortunately, the artists' enthusiasm was not matched by the audience. During opener Shair's [pronounced shy-ear] set, there were maybe 40 students in attendance. Most were seated, in off-white plastic chairs, barely nodding their heads along to the beat. "Having small turnouts at events is expected," said club president Mike Petrow via text message. "It's a shame [because] with some more support, every campus group could have the events they intended to put on, instead of cutting corners to struggle to get it working."
By Petrow's set- who was third in the line-up- there were hardly more than 10 students, all sitting away from the stage, playing on cell phones or the occasional Ipad. Presumably, playing Words with Friends or checking Tumblr was more pressing than supporting their classmates' endeavors. Even those students passing through the Rathskeller, on their way to smoke cigarettes outside the green room or leave the building entirely, hardly batted an eye at the performance. When did calculated apathy become the modus operandi of collegiate life?
"If all our small events aren't a success, then it's worse than not getting funding [for] a large event," Petrow added. "And it's not that our events aren't great. They are better and more interesting than a lot of groups…just nobody cares. "
Sixth Element will be having another showcase this Saturday and 1pm at Hofstra USA. If seeing your classmates hone their unique talents isn't enough motivation to go, perhaps the free food will be.