USC Concerts Committee, a group within Program Board, and the USC Office of Campus Activities announced that Childish Gambino will headline Thursday’s Conquest concert -— part of an annual spirit rally before the USC-UCLA football game.
Childish Gambino is one of the first solo artists to perform for Conquest. In the past, headliners for Conquest included Cobra Starship, Third Eye Blind, the Dan Band and OK GO. Comedian Michael Ian Black will host this year’s Conquest.
Donald Glover, who performs under the stage name Childish Gambino, released his first hip-hop mixtape in 2008. Last November, he released Camp, his first album on a major record label. The record has sold more than 160,000 copies in the United States. Glover also has a career in television and film: he was an actor on NBC’s Community and a member of the sketch comedy group Derrick Comedy that wrote the feature-length film Mystery Team.
This year, Conquest starts at 7 p.m. and will be held on McCarthy Quad. Students are required to show their student IDs to enter the concert.
Most students reacted positively to the announcement of Childish Gambino as the Conquest headliner, including Konrad Mueller, a sophomore majoring in economics and mathematics.
“I’m really stoked that Gambino is playing,” Mueller said. “I feel like he’s one of the best up-and-coming rappers in the rap game right now and I feel like it’s awesome that we were able to land such a great act like that.”
Though some students were excited for the newcomer artist, other students expressed disappointment.
“I’d heard of Childish Gambino before, but I never listened to [him] so I’m going to listen to [him] now,” said Jennifer Bailey, a freshman neuroscience major. “But I’m just wondering why we couldn’t get anyone more famous.”
In addition to Gambino, Conquest will include performances by the Trojan Marching Band and the Song Girls. Plans for the event also include a bonfire and fireworks display.
Regardless of whether students are excited or ambivalent toward Childish Gambino’s performance, most students said they were excited for the Conquest celebration and the football game against UCLA on Saturday.
Francisco Gomez-Palacio, a freshman majoring in music industry, said he was eager to experience his first Conquest.
“Ever since Childish Gambino’s Camp album came out, I’ve been a big fan,” Gomez-Palacio said. “I think it’s going to be really fun on a college campus, so I’m really excited for it to happen.”
Yasmeen Serhan contributed to this report.