Navigation

News and events

Law training helps students keep a cool head following rapper video fame

15 October 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

Housemates’ reaction to international media attention

Pic: L-R Claudia Doherty, Rebecca Billinge, Lorcan O’Mahony, Olivia Johnson-Aley and Melissa Bryan

Students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have spoken of how their legal training prepared them for the “craziest week of their lives” after they attracted international media attention following an unexpected jamming session in their living room with 90’s rapper Coolio.

The eight students, five of whom are studying for a Masters in Law at UCLan, have been inundated with requests for interviews and the rights to the video footage of their impromptu sing-along with Coolio, recorded after the singer visited their house in Preston to cook a three-course meal.

In the week following their evening with the rapper, the students have given interviews to newspapers, radio and television both home and abroad including NBC news and the Wendy Williams Show in America.

A video of their acoustic performance of Gangsta’s Paradise has attracted over a million hits since it was posted on You Tube last week.

“Our evening with Coolio was unexpected and we don’t want it to seem contrived because it really wasn’t. You can’t make a video go viral, it just happens.”

Law masters student 23-year-old Lorcan O’Mahony said: “It’s been very useful to have knowledge of intellectual property as we’ve been approached several times by companies asking to buy the rights to our video. We want to keep full control of the footage and leave it open for people to use.

“Our evening with Coolio was unexpected and we don’t want it to seem contrived because it really wasn’t. You can’t make a video go viral, it just happens.”

As an added bonus to their visit from Coolio the You Tube video has now received so many hits that it has attracted advertisers, reaping a small financial reward for the housemates. While they won’t be able to retire just yet, the money will come in handy for the end of term.

Fellow law student 21-year-old Claudia Doherty commented: “It’s an unexpected benefit and we’ve agreed to use the money to pay for a few household bills.”

“It was fantastic to go on stage and sing with Coolio again. If he wants us to help him get Gangsta’s Paradise to Christmas number one he knows where we are.”

The students made such a good impression on the rapper that he cancelled his plans and returned to Preston last Saturday to perform at Ships and Giggles along with his new backing group.

Rebecca Billinge, 21, also studies law at UCLan. She joked: “It was fantastic to go on stage and sing with Coolio again. If he wants us to help him get Gangsta’s Paradise to Christmas number one he knows where we are.”

The UCLan students; Claudia Doherty, Rebecca Billinge, Melissa Bryan, Katie Hitchen, Lorcan O’Mahony and Olivia Johnson-Aley met the American rap star when he visited Preston last Monday to perform at MACs and Ships and Giggles. He returned to their house the following evening to cook a meal of Coolio's Caprese Salad, Chicken á la Daaaamn, and Peach Crumble.

L-R: Melissa Bryan, Claudia Doherty, Olivia Johnson-Aley and Rebecca Billinge