Pie, Kornbread and Democracy

It’s not that often that you see presidential candidates shoving their faces into pie on the campaign trail, but UVM has always been “progressive.”

Junior Louis Armistead said he baked up the idea to combine local sidewalk rapper Kornbread with pie and politics to reach out to students who feel disconnected from campus government.

“I feel like SGA has this ‘Do Not Enter’ sign on it,” he said.

“I wanted to show that any student can have an ef-fect on things like this,” he said.

“I’m making several candidates compete in some ridiculous way for my endorsement,” Armistead said. “I wanted to do some event that people wouldn’t expect, to humanize SGA so people see the real side of it.”

Armistead organized the event with the backing of UVMTV, and promoted it through Facebook, word of mouth and his own ‘Loutube’ Web site on Youtube.

The pie eating contest featured three candidate tickets who agreed to participate: Scott McCarty, Lizzy Mazer, Lydia Morin, Benjamin Porter and Adam Crawford.

Porter took first place in the pie-eating contest, and Armistead is now officially endorsing his SGA ticket.

The Loutube event, held in Billings, was on the same night as the Afroman concert, which took place next door in Ira Allen.

One of the opening bands, the local Chain-link Gun Love, even paid tribute to Afroman by performing a cover of his one-hit wonder, “Because I Got High.” The other opening band was Burlington’s the Burly Jacks.

As students streamed in, several appeared lost and asked if they were at the Afroman concert, to which Armistead and others would simultaneously reply, “No, this is the Kornbread show.”

One confused student attempted to find direction by explaining, “I’m here to see the man.” To which someone else responded, “Which man, dude? They’re both the man.”

Rapper Kornbread was the headlining artist of the evening, this being his official debut performance.

Armistead arranged to have Kornbread through his manager, UVM junior Andrew Benoit, since “Kornbread is difficult to get a hold of. I’ve actually never seen him stand still,” Armistead said.

Armistead said he wanted Kornbread to perform at the event because “everyone here at UVM has a personal story about him.”

Public communications major Benoit, who has no managing experience, has been representing Kornbread for a month and half, but has known him since his freshman year.

“He’s been around for a while, everyone knows him and everyone likes him, so I just saw there’s a demand for it,” Benoit said.

“I work with him one or two nights a week, we get together and hangout and burn CDs,” he said.

Kornbread has sold about 50 of his four track CDs so far, Benoit said. The manager is working on organizing upcoming Kornbread shows at Nectars and Second Floor.

Kornbread, also known as Kevin Martin, moved to Burlington from Cincinnati when he was 18, and loves being around the college kid scene because he relates to it, Benoit said.

During the night, Korn-bread reached out to his UVM audience with rap lyrics like, “For the students we do this/the students/the coolest.”

Benoit previously worked with Kornbread to produce a music video on UVMTV for Kornbread’s title track, “Kornebread.” And they are currently working on a new project, “The True Kornbread story,” in the style of the E! channel’s “True Hollywood Story.” It should be ready by the end of the year, Benoit said.

“The thing with him is he actually has studio-done stuff, he has a studio and a lot of people don’t like to acknowledge that, they just like to laugh at him … and he’s not cool with that,” Benoit said.

“He’s always been look-ing for a way to mass produce his stuff and get it out there,” Benoit said.

Freshman fan Corey Rich-ardson said he likes Kornbread because “his style is unique, he’s not rapping about selling drugs. He has a message, which is missing in hip-hop to-day.”

“His message is to stay in school. Not end up in jail, that’s what he’s told me. Because his brother is in jail.”

Sophomore Libby Hough-ton said she chose to attend the event because of “good vibes. Everyone seemed pumped up for it. Plus it’s Kornbread! I couldn’t miss the spectacle.”

Crowdsurfer and UVM junior Jesse Rosenfield said, “Kornbread is the cutting edge of music at UVM.”

Armistead, who engaged in some onstage impromptu collaborating with Kornbread, was pleased with the turnout. “It was messy, there was mu-sic, there was pie. It was ev-erything Loutube stands for … and democracy.”

Kornbread was not available for comment at press time.