UK fans create webpage to bring rapper to perform at Auburn game

By Marc Thomas

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Two UK football fans have set up a page with the hopes of bringing rapper Waka Flocka Flame to campus to perform during the UK vs. Auburn game on Thursday, Oct. 15.

John Ross Gambrel, a nurse anesthetist at UK Chandler Hospital and Eric Dixon, a family attorney in Williamsburg, Ky. have attended UK football games since their youth.

Although their education has taken them to different schools, they’ve remained devoted to their wildcats through the good, bad and the ugliest of seasons.

Gambrel and Dixon said bringing the rapper to Commonwealth Stadium could be a huge boost to UK’s football program and improve the fan base.

“We want athletes to say, ‘You know what, they’re really doing something at UK and they’re really treating their student athletes great; they’ve got a new stadium, the fan base is all in — they care,’” Gambrel said. “If we do that, we make our football program relevant and when we become more relevant, we’ll get better players.”

Gambrel and Dixon believe the UK vs Auburn game could have a positive impact on UK’s recruiting prospects in the future since SEC recruiting can be competitive.

“It goes into why we picked this game for it to happen because it’s a marquee game, the new stadium is being highlighted. Kentucky football is going to be on the map, you’ll have national guys all over the place since it’s a national power-house,” Dixon said.

Gambrel said the idea to set up the page to bring Waka Flocka Flame to Commonwealth Stadium during the Auburn game came from listening to Kentucky Sports Radio hosts Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond talk about a video which showed players celebrating a win over South Carolina and dancing to “Grove Street Party.”

“Our team has liked this rapper for quite some time and I heard Matt and Ryan on the radio talking about how cool it would be if Waka Flocka Flame came to a football game, hangout with the players, and showed some support since they love that song (Grove Street Party) so much,” Gambrel said.

According to Gambrel, he began this process by contacting KSR host Ryan Lemond and pledged to donate $500 out of his own pocket towards the cost of bringing the rapper to UK.

“Maybe we can have him come and be on the field, maybe do a song, introduce the team, stay for the game, just be here and have fun,” Gambrel said.

Although their page lists a price of $30,000, Gambrel and Dixon said it will only cost $18,000 to have the rapper come to campus and possibly perform one song.

After the page was established, Dixon said he received a phone call from an events coordinator who set up an appearance by another rapper, Lil’ Jon in Knoxville, Tenn.

Lil’ Jon visited the University of Tennessee and performed a version of his 2013 hit single “Turn Down for What,” which was changed to “Third Down for What,” to play at every third down during each football game.

According to Gambrel, the event organizer for Waka Flocka Flame has been put in touch with UK and the effort to bring the rapper to Commonwealth Stadium is out of their hands.

At the time of this article, the page has only reached $1,600 but Gambrel isn’t concerned that he won’t reach his goal of $18,000.

“I’m not worried about the money—the money will be there,” Gambrel said. “If UK needs the money or requests we raise the money or if it gets out there that we need money, it’ll be there.”

Gambrel said his ultimate goal is not to have everyone listening to Waka Flocka Flame or to have the fan base excited that he’s at the game; he said he wants to show people that UK is much more than just a great basketball school.

“If the fan base loves it and it creates a great environment, that’s awesome, but that’s not my primary goal,” Gambrel said. “My primary goal is to do this for the team.”