Homecoming concert brings in new generation of stars

Benjamin McKnight

This week wouldn’t truly be homecoming week at Morgan State University without its highly anticipated annual concert. This year, the bill has lived up to the hype, consisting of rappers Lil Uzi Vert, Shy Glizzy and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.

Morgan’s football team will look to improve on its 2-3 on Oct. 22 against the North Carolina Central University Eagles. While that is the focus of the week, the concert is the centerpiece for Morgan’s less athletic student body.

Photo courtesy of the Morgan State Campus Activity Board.
Photo courtesy of the Morgan State Campus Activity Board.

Headlining the event is Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi, who has made quite a name for himself following the 2015 release of his Luv Is Rage mixtape. Garnering millions of downloads, the project thurst Uzi into instant superstardom, as he invaded tours and festivals worldwide for the 12 months. Morgan is a stop on the impromptu Lil Uzi “HBCU Tour”, as the rapper performs at more than 10 Historically Black College and University homecomings through the month of October.

Washington, D.C. rapper Shy Glizzy is one of the most frequent names mentioned in the cluster of current-generation rappers. The Glizzy name has rang through the D.M.V. since 2011 following the release of his Streets Hottest Youngin’ mixtape. With the help of a diss song to fellow D.C. rapper Fat Trel (“Disrespect The Tech”), Glizzy solidified himself as an artist to watch out of the nation’s capital. A 2012 beef with Chicago rapper Chief Keef that spawned the diss “3Milli” put the rapper in the national spotlight. But Shy Glizzy is about more than beef, releasing several critically acclaim projects (Law series) and singles (“Awesome”).

In 2015, Glizzy was featured on the coveted XXL Magazine Freshman Class cover. Along with working with top deejays like Bigga Rankin and DJ Drama, Glizzy has done features with the hottest names in hip-hop. Although he is surely recognized anywhere he goes, his following in D.C. and Baltimore is mythical. With a student body largely consisting of students from the metropolitan area, Glizzy is sure to get a warm welcome upon hitting the stage.

Bronx rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is not only one of the hottest names in hip-hop, but he is one of a select core of emcees tasked with reviving the NY sound. In just a matter of months, A Boogie has been pushed to new heights. From a spread in the New York Times and Forbes Magazine, to an appearance in the 2016 BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher, A Boogie has had a productive summer and fall to say the least. According to Pandora, he has received more than 5,000,000 plays since September. His 2016 mixtape Artist has taken off, with singles like “My Shit” and “Still Think About You” have taken off on the radio, streaming websites and clubs. Combining songs of love and heartbreak with club bangers, A Boogie will be bringing plenty of versatility to Morgan.

On the Morgan campus, sentiment toward the lineup is mixed, somewhat between under and upperclassmen. The younger crowd is excited for the high-energy lineup, while many upperclassmen complain about the lack of a true headlining artist. As popular as the trio is, none of the artists have a chart-topping single, much less an official album. The 2015 concert was headlined by hip-hop legends Rick Ross and Fabolous, with Ross replacing late scratch Travis Scott.

The reality is, no matter how the lineup was structured, someone will be unhappy. On the plus side, the three artists represent the upper to middle region of the East Coast, the primary home of the majority of Morgan’s student body.

Tickets are available for students at the school’s box office, as well as online at TicketMaster.com.