by Catherine Goldberg ’20
The Providence College campus enjoyed an unforgettable performance this Saturday from Lil Uzi Vert. Born Symere Woods, Lil Uzi Vert has risen to prominence in the past year. At only 23, he has become a huge leader of America’s youth, in part because of his refusal to conform and marginalize. He deems himself as more of a “rock star” than a typical hip-hop rapper. His unique persona and carefree lyrics have drawn many college students to love him as an artist and performer. When PC released the news that he would be this year’s Late Night Madness guest performer, all you could hear from McVinney to Fennel, was Uzi’s popular songs.
After watching Late Night Madness in the Mullaney Gymnasium, students packed Peterson Recreation Center waiting for Lil Uzi Vert to take the stage. The dim lights, crammed bodies, and students’ racing pulses lifted school spirits high. Although spirits were high, the anticipation was even higher. Uzi’s DJ opened playing classic hip hop jams, and there was an immense sense of community as students of all ages swarmed the stage and came together awaiting the hip-hop icon.
Finally, around 10 p.m., Uzi took the stage. Though small in stature, his ability to take over the concert venue cannot be denied. His risky fashion choices and multicolored dreadlocks brand him with a distinct image that stands out and appeals especially to adolescent and young adult fans.
Diehard Uzi fans were thrilled to hear him play some of his new music off of the Luv Is Rage 2 record released this year. The official single off the album, “The Way Life Goes,” was a huge crowd pleaser. The Philadelphia native also performed some of his popular mainstream hits and dancing jams including ‘Do What I Want’ and ‘Money Longer.’ However, ‘XO Tour Llif3′ was arguably his best and most enthralling performance. The hit jam was labeled the “Song of the Summer” this year at the 2017 MTV Music awards. On campus, the song has truly become an anthem for students. Each time he sang the chorus, students roared the most well known lyrics, “Push me to the edge/all my friends are dead.”
Marie Sweeney ‘20 loved the “good vibes of the night” and “the overall atmosphere.” Although she found it “disappointing that he took so long to come onto the stage, it was altogether a great performance.” Another Uzi fan, John Kramer ‘20, described the night as “one of his favorite PC experiences.”
Uzi closed his performance with his signature shoulder shrug. He shouted to students’ to “keep it going,” and as the spotlight dimmed, kids continued to chant his empowering lyrics. Students of all ages left Peterson feeling inspired, excited, and closer as a community.
In the past, PC has brought in a wide range of celebrities to either MC or perform at Late Night Madness, including Nick Cannon, Big Sean, Ludacris, and Shaq. However, Lil Uzi Vert has “pushed them to the edge” with this year’s exhilarating performance.