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College Fix records request reveals Ole Miss paid $130,000 for controversial Wiz Khalifa concert

The University of Mississippi paid $130,000 to bring rap star Wiz Khalifa to the campus as part of its back-to-school festivities for a performance that was clouded with controversy because the artist celebrates drug use and uses lyrics that degrade women.

The College Fix, through a public records act request, obtained a copy of the contract between the public university and the rapper’s management company, showing the compensation included a $130,000 pay out for the one-hour performance in front of some 5,000 students.

Campus leaders now refuse to address questions regarding the high cost of bringing Wiz Khalifa to campus for a concert that drew criticism from many, including a major donor.

Multiple College Fix requests for comment regarding the costs and the source of the event’s funding have gone unanswered by a wide variety of university officials.

The choice of Khalifa, an artist who openly flaunts using marijuana and whose music includes vulgar lyrics and scantily clad women in its videos, irked some alumni who saw his visit to campus as antithetical to the university’s principles.

Khalifa performed at Ole Miss on Aug. 25 at a student-only concert hosted at the university’s on-campus arena. The institution’s Student Activities Association sponsored the event, which was part of the flagship university’s welcome week activities. The Ole Miss Student Union funds the Student Activities Association, according to The Daily Mississippian.

The concert was free to students, who only had to show their student ID to get in.

Public relations officials have not responded to nearly a half-dozen emails and phone calls from The College Fix over the last week. The Fix also reached out to the chancellor’s office to seek assistance, but to no avail. The Student Activities Association also did not respond to requests for comment.

In an interview with The Daily Mississippian, Brady Ruffin, executive director of the Student Activities Association, said his group’s vote to have Wiz Khalifa perform on campus was “almost pretty unanimous.”

Yet, that decision came with blowback.

Conservative news website LifeZette reported “emails and texts flooded the office of Chancellor Jeff Vitter” regarding Khalifa’s planned appearance on campus. Among those who reached out to Vitter was alumnus Meg Carter, who questioned why Khalifa’s “message of heavy drug use and sexualization of women” was being welcomed on campus.

“Wiz Khalifa continues to self-promote an image of heavy drug use, disparaging views of women, and downright foul and offensive language used in his song lyrics and social media presence,” Carter wrote in an email, according to LifeZette. “Ole Miss had always fostered a culture when I was a student that these things and other of the like were not acceptable or would not be tolerated on campus. Has this changed?”

Another critic of the concert was Ed Meek, a Ole Miss alumni who donated $5.3 million to the university’s journalism school, which is now named after him and his wife.

A Facebook screenshot posted by The Daily Mississippian shows a post from Meek criticizing Khalifa’s appearance at Ole Miss.

“This guy does not represent our values. How does the UM administration expect our students to act when presented this kind of role model,” Meek wrote.

His post included a link to Khalifa’s music video for “Something New,” which includes several scantily-clad women. Lyrics to the song include lines such as “We could fuck for one night, ain’t gotta jump the broom” and “Pull up on that ass in a drop.”

Meek urged others to “tell Ole Miss to cancel this bozo.”

“Wiz’s music touts abuse of women, minorities by using the N-word and clearly promotes drug abuse,” Meek told The Daily Mississippian.

MORE: Ole Miss mocked, criticized for shutting down event over banana peel

IMAGE: Jamie Lamor Thompson/Shutterstock

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About the Author
Nathan Rubbelke is a staff reporter for The College Fix with a specialty on investigative and enterprise reporting. He has also held editorial positions at The Commercial Review daily newspaper in Portland, Indiana, as well as at The Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics and St. Louis Public Radio. Rubbelke graduated from Saint Louis University, where he majored in political science and sociology.

Add to the Discussion

  • TxMedRgr

    Why do so many highly educated people do so many dumb things? No one needs a PhD to be stupid.

  • Hughlon Thornbury

    Ole Miss has been a lost cause for years. In the old days, a law degree from Ole Miss was the platinum standard for attorneys in the state and over much of the south, but even that hasn’t saved the school’s reputation. The stink from the recent snowflake outrage over a tossed banana peel still sticks to the school, in spite of the left’s every effort to deflect from the fake news incident. Lefty socialists have taken over the campus at Ole Miss (see the DMOnline for examples). Parents and grandparents are seeing it go down and more and more are sending their kids and grand-kids to MSU (compare the Dawgs’ Reflector newspaper to the UM DMOnline) or one of the other working colleges in the state.
    When the most recent mascot contest ended with a land shark as the winner, it wasn’t even newsworthy in the local area. Most locals had wanted the Col Reb guy brought back and renamed Col Sanders. Free original recipe and pot pie at every game. The school flag as the KFC logo. If they’re going to play name that mascot, at least they could take Yum Brands’ money and please the old school fans at the same time. No sense to take college seriously any more, right?

  • saxonglass

    Free speech for everyone. However one should be prudent in how much of other peoples money a small entertainment committee of a Student Senate or the Senate of the U.S.A. spends on free speech (or entertainment). Deciding to spend $130,000 on one event is ridiculous….although excellent training for the future politicians graduating from Ole Miss.

  • Char Sal

    Another crappy college to which I will not send my child; thank you for helping me narrow it down, turds.

  • Chris McDonald

    Well that is not a waste of $130,000 that could have gone into something else. Just glad the money can be used to buy this poor and oppressed man a new Mercedes Benz bringing him one step closer to true equality

  • iamdj

    So, is the problem paying a black rapper so much money??? we have a president who admitted to sexually assaulting women, yet they find Wiz Khalifa offensive.

    • brian ager

      Why do you insist on dragging Clinton through the “Flowers” again????

  • Trevor Sedis

    “Mary done hab an effin’ lamb, yo
    It fleece be white as Trump
    Anevery way dat sheep done go’d
    It dropta big brown lump.”

    ~Takina Wiz Khalifa Mofo Deshawn Tyrone-Jones, poetnshidt

  • Trevor Sedis

    Used to be “Ole Hit.”

    Now “Ole Miss.”

    Next “Non-Age-Specific Ms.”