The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Rappers bring noise to crowded 7th St.

For once not paying attention in class worked out for Scott Erickson.

A senior sports management major, Erickson has been writing songs lyrics for two years which paid off when he won first place in the contest with two original songs “I’m Going Off” and “Chillin.”

Contestants were judged in the same form as “American Idol” Thursday evening at “So You Think You Can Rap?”

Each contestant was judged on two songs they performed for the two judges, Jim Thompson and DeMarlon Brown.

The judge’s votes, along with audience votes, determined the winner of the contest.

“I’m Going Off” was to the beat of the song “Crook County” by rap artist Twista and “Chillin” went to the beat of “Ice Cream Paint Job” by rap artist Dorrough.

Erickson chose “Crook County” because he is from Cook County and he liked the beat of “Ice Cream Paint Job.”

Erickson goes by the stage name “Renegade” and said he puts a lot of time into writing lyrics and looking for beats that are solid for his music.

“I want to make music that can make people feel good, that they can play at a party or with their friends cruising around,” Erickson said.

Erickson won 10 hours of recording time with local music producer Jim Thompson.

Another performer, Chris Balleto, performed two songs called “Can’t be” and “When.”

“Can’t be” is about a woman and “When” is about growing up and looking through old photographs with lyrics like “when did rap replace ninja turtles?” and “when did people stop calling me by my first name?”

“I wanted to do it last year,” Balleto said. “I heard about it yesterday and then got all my music and everything together.”

Michael Lattimore was in the contest last year and wanted to come back again.

He performed his take on “DOA (Death of Autotune)” by Jay-Z and “Go Hard.”

Jared “Ziggy” Chuck, another contestant, did acoustic hip-hop with the help of an acoustic guitar, which the judges thought was new and original.

Ian Winston, last year’s winner, was told he has a lot of energy by the judges, but Winston was not able to use that energy to maintain his victory.

Thompson picked Erickson as the winner because he connected with the audience and had great content and diction in his rap pieces.

“I could hear his message through the music crystal clear,” Thompson said.

Heather Holm can be reached at 581-7942 or at

Rappers bring noise to crowded 7th St.

Rappers bring noise to crowded 7th St.

Sophomore biology major Jared “Ziggy” Chuck plays guitar and serves it up to the crowd at So You Think Rap Thursday night at 7th Street Underground.(Megan Mathy / the Daily Eastern News)


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