Despite the sun having set hours before the concert, things at the Whittemore Center were “lit” this Saturday as thousands of attendees flooded the building, excited for the fall concert hosted by the Student Committee on Popular Entertainment (SCOPE).
The show had two co-headliner artists from two different genres of rap; Joey Bada$$, whose style mimics that of older rappers such as Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., and also Lil Uzi Vert, who has more of a modern rap/trap style to his music. In addition to the two headliners, Aminé was the concert’s opener. With these three rap artists, it felt as if many subgenres of rap were covered.
“This way we can please different cross sections of fans,” SCOPE Publicity Director Caitlin Meaney said in reference to the fact that the rappers all have different styles.
“We were able to explore other options,” SCOPE Executive Director Aren Salmela said about the budget for the concert. Having two headliners did not happen on purpose. Originally, it was only supposed to be Lil Uzi Vert, but after booking him and Aminé, there was still money left over in the budget to book a second headliner.
At first, the audience was hesitant and stagnant, considering the artists, especially the opener, were not widely listened to. As Aminé walked on stage, the stage lights shone hues of fuchsia and violet, refracting onto the crowd, illuminating their curiosity and eagerness for the concert to begin.
A few songs in, Aminé instructed the crowd to take out their phones, turn on their flash and begin waving their phones; the modern-day version of holding up lighters at concerts. As phones went up one by one, the crowd unified with each other and the artist simultaneously. To further gain the crowd’s affection, he went into the crowd and spread his enthusiasm directly into those around him. By the time he played his hit “Caroline,” the crowd was no longer immobile and the energy in the room was through the roof.
Picking up the energy that Aminé left, Joey Bada$$ made his way onto the stage as The Notorious B.I.G’s “Juicy” played, setting the scene for the genre of rap that was about to come. While opening with “Christ Conscious,” a variety of geometric symbols on top of galactic images rapidly flashed on the screen behind the artist.
Despite individuals in the crowd shouting out lyrics along with the artist himself, Joey Bada$$ knew that not many students were probably fans of his prior to the concert. “How many new Joey Bada$$ fans are in here tonight?” he asked the crowd.
Without a doubt, many students were going to become fans of his music, and it became increasingly evident as Bada$$ enthusiastically moved through his set list, playing each song with more passion than the last. He also wanted to connect more with the students but instead of going to the crowd, Bada$$ brought up girls onto the stage. On stage, the girls danced with smiles on their faces, as people cheered them on. Finally, following in Aminé’s footsteps, he ended his time on stage with the song that brought him out into the limelight: “Devastated.”
As new Joey Bada$$ fans were left devastated with his goodbye, Lil Uzi Vert made his way onto the stage, lifting everyone’s spirits once more. One of the first songs that Lil Uzi performed was “Money Longer,” instilling immeasurable amounts of energy into the crowd as everyone danced their stress away while shouting out the lyrics. Keeping up with the enthusiasm in the room, Lil Uzi further hyped up the crowd with his other hit “You was right.” Once again, the entire room was left crying out the lyrics. Lastly, just like Aminé, Lil Uzi Vert came off the stage and joined the crowd. At the end of the concert, students were left exhausted yet happy, and many now call themselves new fans of Amine, Joey Bada$$ and Lil Uzi Vert.