Fans ‘can’t get enough’ J. Cole during concert
Published: Friday, May 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
When Big K.R.I.T. took the stage as J. Cole’s opening act on Thursday night, the crowd went wild, but the noise was nowhere near as loud as when J. Cole himself made his way onto the stage. From sporting a UNH sweatshirt to signing a UNH basketball jersey, the Fayetteville, N.C., native managed to win over every student in attendance.
The concert was the second of back-to-back events for the university’s Spring Climax, following Wednesday night’s Eli Young Band concert. SCOPE, along with the Campus Consciousness Tour, knew that a fresh and popular hip-hop artist would be widely accepted and anticipated by the student population.
Big K.R.I.T., a rapper who emerged onto the music scene in 2010 after signing with Def Jam Records, received a positive reaction from the crowd overall. With the song “Hometown Hero” – off of his Hometown Hero mixtape, on which he produced all of his own work – had everyone in the crowd waving their hands and swaying back and forth in a sea of hip-hop lovers and appreciators alike.
J. Cole arrived out on stage shortly after the opener, singing “Dolla and a Dream,” the white lights beaming bright over his silhouette as he rapped to the crowd.
“His concert was like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” non-student Dan Pintone said. “I think his entrance was really made known when the lights went down. Everybody knew what they were about to experience.”
The artist’s set list consisted of an eclectic mix of old and new tracks, including “Sideline Story,” “Cole World,” “A Star is Born,” and “Lights, Please.” In one of the later tracks on the set list, a remix of “Big Pimpin’” by Jay-Z was intertwined into the mix.
Between remixes created by his DJ, J. Cole made the smooth transition into two of his slower, piano and guitar-based songs – “Daddy’s Little Girl” and “Lost Ones” – during which he sat at a microphone in the shadows of the stage, serenading the crowd with his lyrics based on the realities of growing up and making it in the world.
Over the past few years, J. Cole has gained an impressive following after being recognized under the Roc Nation record label, but is more popular for his creative and poetic lyrics about life, love, and struggles that resonate with people of all ages.
Both Big K.R.I.T. and J. Cole brought back hints of old-school southern rap and Motown to their music set lists, giving listeners a taste of the old with the newer mainstream sound.
“I loved the stage presence of both artists,” said sophomore Jemmel Billingslea, a volunteer at the show. “J. Cole gives his all during the show like no other. That level of dedication and appreciation for the fans is hard to come by in today’s music industry.”