Young hip-hop stars spark energetic crowd

Review: Rising rappers A$AP Rocky, ScHoolboy Q's frenzied performance electrifies Goldstein Auditorium Friday night.

You’d think students would be packed like sardines inside Schine with doors opening at 6:30 p.m., an hour and a half before co-headliners A$AP Rocky and ScHoolboy Q took the stage Friday night for the National Pan-Hellenic Council’s concert, but well after 8:15 p.m. most students just staggered in.

Diehard fans were easy to spot as they rushed in Goldstein Auditorium, eager to ensure their position right behind the security barricade. Others stood around while some sat looking unsure of what these rising rappers would bring.

Photo: Shanice Maxwell
A$AP Rocky, who was nominated for a BBC Sound award, performs his first few songs alongside ScHoolboy Q, who fueled on the crowd's energy.

A$AP Rocky was already a favorite among many students. Tyler Hernton, a student studying political science, looked forward to seeing him because he’s “something that represents a new, different generation and brings that rawness.”

It wouldn’t be until after ScHoolboy Q stormed out onto the floor dressed in a Syracuse University sweatshirt and crisp Jordans that students began to fill the auditorium. He started off spitting lines from his first mixtape Setbacks, but it took his performance of “#BETiGOTSUMWEED” to get those sitting to stand at attention. It didn’t take long before ScHoolboy Q jumped into the crowd. The rise in temperature and rush in adrenaline was so electrifying that he nearly tripped and fell getting back on stage.

“I almost bust my ass on stage for y'all,” ScHoolboy said through a series of laughs, returning to his rhymes. “When I say high, y'all say power” was the call and response he bellowed out and as students waved their hands and shouted “power” the show was quickly back on. His last song, “Hands on The Wheel” featuring A$AP Rocky, had students screaming every word.

As soon as the 23-year-old dressed in a black hoodie, gold camouflage jacket and Jordans to match appeared the crowd went wild and erupted in excitement. ScHoolboy Q stayed on as a hype man for the first few minutes he performed and the two rapped side by side before A$AP took over.

He wasted no time as he performed songs from recent mixtape LiveLoveA$AP, which earned him a 2012 BBC Sound nomination. Clouds of marijuana smoke filled the atmosphere and it was clear some students were down with Mary Jane, who A$AP brags about in his songs. “It’s getting smoky in here,” A$AP said right before he began rapping hits “Purple Swag” and “Roll One Up.”

A$AP did the two-step on stage, stripped down to a VSVP hoodie and matching hat, and worked all of the stage, only stopping to have students chant what had become the mantra of the night: “ASAP, ASAP, f---ing ASAP!” He appeared to be in his element and after a couple songs he thanked the crowd. "It’s a lot of love out here. We keeping it trill out there for y'all," he said right before he jumped off stage to dap students up and hug two lovestruck girls.

A$AP Rocky polled his audience allowing them to choose his last song. “Pesos” was decided on unanimously and after a few minutes, he lunged himself into the sea of students. He was swarmed and then students passed him around on their hands. After he exited off stage students still cheered his name, and some begged for an encore.

As the concert ended students recapped highlights as they poured out the building’s exits. Yet there were several students like junior marketing student Kwasi Boadi who wished the show was longer. “I know that NPHC paid a lot of money for A$AP to come out and it seemed like he probably only did five or six songs,” he said.

741 people, of the 921 tickets sold, were in attendance according to the Student Centers and Programming Services of Schine. So somewhere in that number, skeptical observers must’ve been converted into true fans. At the end of the night, it was still a great show and another successful year for the NPHC’s Greek Unity Fest.


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