How Claflin landed Megan Thee Stallion
Nov 10, 2019
Claflin's Student Government Association and Student Activities Board fought hard to get Megan Thee Stallion to perform at this year's homecoming concert.
On Oct. 22, the chair of the Homecoming Committee, Konist Davis-Johnson, and SAB President Raymond Johnson met with reporters from The Panther to talk about homecoming and the concert featuring Megan Thee Stallion.
“SGA and SAB elections were done in April. Soon as elections were done, they went straight to work,” Davis-Johnson said. “It has nothing to do with the administration as to why we have her.”
Davis-Johnson made it clear landing the popular artist was not about her. The students made it happen.
“If it was me, I would have gotten Maxwell or Anthony Hamilton,” Davis-Johnson said.
Claflin got Megan for the concert but she was not number one on the list of students' preferred performers. Rapper NBA Young boy topped the list but was unable to perform.
“We have to go through a process to see if they can do a clean show. Some people said 'no I can’t do it,'” Davis-Johnson said.
Next on the list was rapper DaBaby. But Claflin was not willing to pay the price that he presented.
“The price point he wanted to have a conversation with, we were not comfortable with,” Davis-Johnson said.
She explained the process is more than just paying the price for an artist. There are other expenses involved.
Claflin has to consider the hotel room for the guest, sound systems, lighting and anything else the artist needs, Davis-Johnson said. That money all adds up.
“We know whether we can afford to pay somebody $50,000 because that $50,000 is really $60,000,” she said.
So they went down the list and there was Megan. At the time, she not yet affiliated with Jay Z and was still under her original management.
“I was not in agreement, but they told me to get the contract, we will negotiate the price with her,” Davis-Johnson said of the SGA and SBA representatives involved in the selection.
Davis-Johnson looked over the price range and said that’s the highest Claflin can go. But SGA President Matthew Coverson- Springs and SBA's Raymond Johnson said put in another $5,000.
They went back to Megan's people and the answer was yes.
Everyone signed off on the contract until the administration stepped in.
“They were like, 'what are y’all doing?' ... Maybe that’s not such a good idea,” Davis-Johnson said. Officials were concerned after seeing videos of Megan Thee Stallion's performances.
SGA and SAB got together and approached the administration with results of the student survey about concert entertainment and tweets from people supporting the choice of Megan.
“We had to show them Megan's good side because the administration was getting stripper vibes from her,” Raymond said. “We showed her being in college right now and her community service.”
“We kind of just pulled up some of her grades and things she’s done for the community because the (administration) was assuming she was a stripper. We had to dim that light because you don’t judge a book by its color,” Raymond said.
"Megan is very popular in the music industry, and especially with the females," Davis-Johnson said. "Megan's rise to fame happened very quickly, so for us to get our hands on her for the concert was a big must, and we knew the student body would be more than satisfied."
She wants students to give all the credit to Claflin's SGA and SAB for making the concert a reality.
“I want SGA and SAB to get the credit for working early. If we started this last month, we wouldn’t be able to afford her,” Davis-Johnson said. “As of right now, I heard her price has tripled.”
Claflin is known for making sure a concert will be "clean."
“This is Claflin, this is always going to be Claflin. We did go back and alter the contract, making sure she will have integrity,” Davis-Johnson said.
"We know she is not going to be totally unfiltered, however SAB fought for what you wanted, and I want them to get the credit," Davis-Johnson said.
Even though the artist will temper the performance, students usually fill in the blanks, she said.
“Y’all say it for the artist. I was at Midnight Madness the other night and y’all say the words loud and clear,” Davis-Johnson said. “So I don’t know why y’all worried about it being censored because the students know the words and you can drown her out."
Spartanburg native artist B Rae will also perform at the concert, which is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Jonas T. Kenndy Center.
Halle Sparks and Jordan James contributed to this report.