Rapper Big Sean posing with students from Detroit School of Arts

Written by | Ray Cornelius

It may have been freezing cold on the outside but ATL’s Georgia Dome was hot like fire on the inside from the 2014 Honda Battle of the Bands. The 12th Annual Invitational Showcase was held on Saturday and was packed with fans, students and alumni rooting for their favorite school.

Competing for the coveted title were eight Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Marching Bands including Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Bethune-Cookman University, North Carolina A &T University, South Carolina State University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Winson-Salem State University, and Morehouse College.

Drum Majors.jpg45As previously reported, each band received a grant from Honda for their music education program plus an all-expense paid trip to the invitational.

The event was hosted by V-103 morning show personality, Ryan Cameron along with crowd favorites DJs Skillz and Baby Yu. The musical headliner for this year was Grammy-nominated rapper Big Sean, who had the audience dancing in their seats with an “unfiltered performance” of all his hits.

Prior to his show, Sean talked to Atlanta press about his participation in the event.  While he admitted that he didn’t know much about the bands, he was looking forward to seeing some really good  performances.

“What’s cool is that I don’t know what to expect from today’s event. Everything is going to be a surprise to me but I am expecting to see a ‘show.’ Besides, Atlanta is very special to me because my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins live here and I’ve been visiting all of my life. So, it’s cool to be able come down and participate,” said Big Sean.

Other event highlights included a Honda Car giveaway in which three contestants competed for a vehicle by submitting online video of themselves singing or rapping.

Check out the photos below including the competition and Honda Car winners:

Big Sean with Kids2

 Big Sean talking to Detroit School of Arts students during press conference


Morehouse College Marching Tigers performing


North Carolina A&T ( NC A&T) Blue and Gold Marching Machine


NC A&T dancers performing to the Russian Classic, “Night on Bald Mountain”

Big Sean2

Big Sean left the stage and took to the field for his “unfiltered performance”

Big Sean3

Big Sean is a Grammy-nominated rapper and rising fashion designer


DJs Skillz and Baby Yu battled it out in an “old school-vs-new school” competition

RC with D. Woods

RC with former Danity Kane member D. Woods

South Carolina State

South Carolina State University (SCSU) Drum Majors prepping for show

South Carolina State University

SCSU’s performance included a tribute to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Children's Choir

SCSU’s performance also included  a Children’s Choir and African drummers

Antenica Winner

 Honda Car Winner Antenica with Tom Peyton, Honda AVP, Advertising & Marketing


 NC A&T drum major accepting first place prize from V-103’s Ryan Cameron

NC A&T 4

 NC A&T dancers posing after winning first place