JSU Sonic Boom of the South Alumni Band Joins Forces with Rap Icon Drake on "It’s All A Blur" Tour
Francis Page Jr. | 2/8/2024, 3:22 p.m.
When Drake and J.Cole launched their highly anticipated "It's All A Blur – Big as the What?" tour in Tampa, Florida on February 2nd, fans were in for a surprise. Amidst the excitement surrounding the megastars' collaboration, the appearance of Jackson State University's Sonic Boom of the South Alumni Marching Band at Amalie Arena took social media by storm. This unexpected partnership between a rap icon and a legendary marching band has captivated audiences across the nation.
Christopher "CJ" Gibson, Drake's road manager and a proud Jackson State graduate and former Boom member, confirmed the collaboration. "Drake wanted to infuse a sports theme into the tour and incorporate a marching band. With my roots in the Sonic Boom, I advocated for my alma mater to join the tour," explained Gibson, highlighting the importance of showcasing the Boom's talent on a national platform.
Coordinating with Dr. Roderick Little, Director of Bands at Jackson State, and administrative assistant Courtney Lett, Gibson enlisted recent Boom alumni for the tour. Despite initial skepticism from some candidates, the opportunity to perform with Drake and J.Cole was too enticing to resist.
Nathaniel Kenner, head drum major for the iconic Sonic Boom J5, shared his emotions leading up to the tour. "There was a mix of excitement and nervousness, but representing the Boom and our alma mater was a tremendous honor," said Kenner, reflecting on the pride he felt marching alongside his fellow alumni.
For Maurice Gibson, managing the alumni band meant ensuring professionalism and dedication from each member. "This opportunity is not just about entertainment; it's big business for us. We take it seriously and understand the responsibility that comes with it," emphasized Maurice, underscoring the importance of upholding the Boom's legacy.
Kenner attributes his discipline and accountability to his experiences at Jackson State. "Being part of the Boom taught us invaluable lessons in discipline and responsibility. JSU molded me into a better individual, both on and off the field," he remarked, acknowledging the transformative impact of his HBCU education.
As the "It's All A Blur" tour continues to garner acclaim, the collaboration between Drake and the Sonic Boom Alumni Band serves as a testament to the enduring bonds formed at Jackson State University. For Gibson, the tour represents a meaningful opportunity to showcase the positive impact of their alma mater on a national stage.
"Participating in this tour has been incredibly rewarding. To see Jackson, Mississippi, celebrated for its talent and positivity is truly gratifying," expressed Gibson, reflecting on the pride of representing his hometown and alma mater alongside one of music's biggest stars.
From the football fields of Jackson State to the grand stages of the "It's All A Blur" tour, the Sonic Boom of the South Alumni Band continues to leave an indelible mark on the world of music and entertainment.
For more updates on the tour and behind-the-scenes insights, stay tuned to Houston Style Magazine.