Kean landed one of the hottest rappers of the year as Lil Baby graced the Wilkins Theatre stage alongside fellow Atlanta rapper, Asian Doll, Wednesday, Oct. 17. The two performed hits that have been played throughout campus for several weeks prior.
Hosted by Kean's Programming for Unique and Lively Student Experience (P.U.L.S.E.), this year's homecoming concert was yet another successful rendition of the event, which was carefully planned, analyzed, organized and conducted specifically to cater toward the musical preferences of Kean students.
Nearly 1000 students, faculty and fans alike flooded Wilkins Theatre on a chilly Wednesday evening around 8 p.m. DJ Wallah and TIZZ The Influence greeted the crowd and got them hyped for the main event.
Lil Baby is fresh off a joint album with Gunna titled "Drip Harder". Debuting at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, "Drip Harder" is one of the hottest albums in hip-hop at the present time. Paired with 1017 Brick Squad Records artist, Asian Doll, Lil Baby showcased the current status of rap coming out of Atlanta, Georgia.
Asian Doll was the first of the two live performances of the evening. Performing new tracks off of her new mixtape, "So Icy Princess," alongside a few more songs, she brought up the energy in a theatre already rising with anticipation by the minute.
Feeding off the high emotions in the room, Lil Baby came out like a shot of adrenaline as the roof nearly burst from the cheers. Performing both new and old songs such as "Freestyle," "Close Friends," "Drip Too Hard," "Yes Indeed," "Southside," "My Dawg" and more, Lil Baby rocked the rowdy crowd for about an hour. A sea of cell phone flashes and singing concertgoers painted the backdrop for the artist to deliver an energetic performance.
The Kean student populace was very familiar with the emcee, with many considering themselves avid fans.
"I was really excited when I heard that the school got [Lil] Baby," said junior marketing major Calin Berroa. "I listen to him everyday."
The atmosphere inside of Wilkins Theatre was undeniably electric and much more intimate and personal — a trait unique to smaller venues.
Berroa also had praise for the way Lil Baby commanded his performance and the crowd.
“The way that he came out was pretty cool. His energy was great at all times. The sound quality done by the stage crew was also on point. It was a really well-put together production,” Berroa explained.
A visiting friend of Berroa's and student of Temple University in Philadelphia, Chris Stewart was pleasantly surprised with both the venue and performance at Kean Wednesday night.
"To be honest, I didn't know much about Kean besides what my friends would tell me," said Stewart. "From coming through, seeing the campus buildings and seeing that they were able to land Lil Baby, Asian Doll and host it at a professional venue, it was certainly pleasantly surprising."
The concert kicked off a slew of wonderful and exciting events to come for the rest of homecoming weekend, one of the most highly regarded times on campus for the year.
Those that participated in the weekend can owe it to the great organizers at P.U.L.S.E. and Kean University for helping to ignite the fire of homecoming thanks to the power of music and Lil Baby.
"Whether it was last year with A Boogie and Don Q, or this year with Lil Baby and Asian Doll, us as Kean students know that we're going to get treated with somebody hot," Berroa added, stating his appreciation for the consistency of P.U.L.S.E. and all involved with Kean's homecoming activities.
Stewart left with a satisfied review of his experience overall at Kean saying, "I'll be back next year. That's a fact."