Phat beats

Who's running the zoom zoom zoom in the boom boom at Penn? Our reporter on Locust Walk pulled hurrying students aside on a clear spring day to inquire into their preferred beats come graduation day. Students were usually short and sweet about why they liked hip-hop over, say, chamber music. Unlike the finals many of them had just come from or were headed toward, shaking it out on the dance floor doesn't require a great deal of analytical thinking or studied comprehension of vocabulary words. Like the good Clinton - George, that is - said: "Free your mind, and the rest will follow."

  • Mike Yen, Wharton, Class of '01 "Hip-hop. The beat's good."

  • James Lyons, College, Class of '00 "Fatboy Slim. Good music, good beat, gets things goin'."

  • Beth Kotora, Nursing, Class of '00 "What's the name of that train song? Come on the train, dance on the train? ...Or something?"

  • Gary Lin, Engineering, Class of '99 "Ohh, Latin music or Brazilian. Definitely. It always makes the party more exciting, gets the whole crowd going strong."

  • Franny Wang, College, Class of '01 "Hip-hop. It's upbeat."

  • Marykate Hayburn, College, Class of '02 "I don't know. My brain is fried. I just took a three hour final that was only supposed to last two. I can't think at all."

  • Gene Stein, Education Ph.D. "Funk."

  • Brian Cross, College, Class of '99 "The first Devo album. Simply because it's the best album of all time."

  • Carrie Sokol, College, Class of '01 "Will old people be there? Hmm, I guess I'd have to say swing. It's a lot of fun and anybody who shows up - even if they're old - can enjoy it."

  • Ashley Harvey, College, Class of '02 "Personally, I would put down something like electronic music, but for the general population, I think hip-hop. I personally would rather hear Black Star, but for everyone, something more commercial like Puff Daddy or even NAS would be better."

  • Nadia Conte, Wharton, Class of '00 "I like '70s. Disco."

  • Nicole Williams, Wharton, Class of '00 "Definitely disco. Old-school funk. 'Cause it has a good beat, everyone knows all the words, and it gets everyone pumped up."

- Jason Clampet

Next issue: Our reporter on Locust Walk will be asking seniors to select the most creative decorations adorning grads' mortar boards.

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Originally published on May 13, 1999