Written by | Ray Cornelius
Over 63,000 students and fans packed Atlanta’s Georgia Dome recently for the Honda Battle of Bands Invitational Showcase (HBOB). The annual event featured eight of the country’s biggest and brightest Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Marching Bands. It was also an opportunity to showcase their dynamic performance skills while earning grant money for their school’s music education programs.
The year’s festivities were hosted once again by Atlanta media personality Ryan Cameron and featured a surprise musical performance by Musiq SoulChild. Stephan James, star of the upcoming Jesse Owens biopic “RACE,” was also attendance while Atlanta’s hometown favorite —Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges—performed a medley of his greatest hits. This was the rapper’s second time appearing at HBOB and he was totally honored to be back.
“I’m just happy to be here. I grew up always wanting to come to the Honda Battle of the Bands and made it to a couple of them. (LOL) Of course, one of my best friends from high school went on to attend Alabama A&M,” said Ludacris during a pre-show press conference. “The musical element of this competition, the discipline of the band members, and the students coming together is something I just love. I’m here to support in whatever way I can and I am very honored to be apart of the program,” added the Grammy winning-hip hop star.
This year’s eight bands included Alabama A&M University, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Prairie View University, South Carolina State University, and Tennessee State University. First time performers included Lincoln University along with 11-time performer and fan favorite Bethune Cookman University.
This year’s competition was also live-streamed on “Campus Insiders” for the very first time and reached all 50 states and 40 countries. It was also the second most Trending Tweet of the day. Other highlights included the “old school” versus “new school” DJ competition between DJ Skillz and DJ Baby Yu and the biggest crowd wave ever.
Check out more exciting photos below:
Tennessee State University (TSU) Marching Band on the field
R&B singer Musiq SoulChild performed with Lincoln University
An HBCU student performing the U.S. National Anthem and Black National Anthem
HBCU dance team member smiling for the camera
Ludacris with “Race” star Stephan James during pre-show press conference
Ludacris performing on stage in front of the sold out crowd
Photo Credits: Jerome Dorn/InDaHouseMedia