Are & Be Lip-Sync Battle: A Celebration of Black Culture and Music

To close out Black History Month the Center for IDEAs hosted a lip sync battle celebrating Black artists and culture.


Christopher Vargas

The hosts of the Are & Be Lip-Sync Battle.

Christopher Vargas, Contributing Writer

Closing out Black History Month with style, the Center of Inclusion Diversity, Education, and Advocacy (IDEAs) hosted a lip-sync battle on campus on Feb. 28 in Grand Palm in the Student Union. 

Lip syncing is when a performer moves their lips in synchronization with a song and is very prominent in Black and queer spaces through drag performances.

The assistant director for Black student success initiatives for the Center of IDEAs, Gabrielle Guy, was responsible for putting the event together. Guy wanted to create an environment appreciating the significance of Black music and culture worldwide.

“Most Black music stems from genres like R&B, rap, and reggae. And not to mention music from other cultures like Haiti,” said Guy. 

The majority of the music played at the event was some form of R&B. The R&B genre stands for rhythm and blues. As the foreground of modern music, it originated from Black musicians in the 1940s. As time has passed, it has remained popular and has evolved to match modern tastes significantly. 

“At the end of the day, this event is to appreciate Black music and culture from all periods,” said Guy.  

The atmosphere at the event was electric. Participants requested a variety of popular artists such as Nicki Minaj and Jennifer Hudson.  Some also opted to include Haitian Kompa music in the playlist as well.  

People were so inclined to participate they just sang their favorite songs in front of everyone, karaoke style. 

Junior Schnider Victor was one of the participants; he is a massive fan of the event. And an even bigger fan of R&B music. He found out about the event from Gabrielle Guy herself.  

“I love music, and I love R&B. I like too many R&B songs to say one is my favorite. So I’ll give you my top three. ‘I love Breakdown’ by Mariah Carey, ‘All I Need’ by Anne Marie, and ‘One Day You Will be Mine’ by Usher,” said Schnider.  

The overall mood of the event was infectious; not even the host could resist singing a song. Guy and Schneider did a duet to the song ‘Trust’ by Keyshia Cole ft. Monica. 

During the event, sophomore Hope Humphrey and her cousin Aniya Randal were so moved by the celebration they sang a duet of their own. 

“When I hear a song I like, I get into it. And when I do, I sing my heart out,” said Humphrey.

During the performance, audience members sang along and waved their phones with the flash on as if they were part of a concert. 

“My favorite R&B song is ‘I bet’ by Sierra. We just had to sing it during the battle together,” said Randal.

With the event’s overall success and positive reception, Gabrielle Guy aims to host it again next year.  

Christopher Vargas is a contributing writer at the University Press. For more information on this story or other stories, you can reach him at [email protected].