There was 'No Chill' at Vic Mensa's Beats on the Banks performance
Vic Mensa certainly wasn't "down on his luck" at last night's electrifying Beats on the Banks performance hosted by the Rutgers University Programming Association.
The 22-year-old hip-hop artist received a lot of positive reactions during his performance at the Rutgers College Avenue Gymnasium, although his predecessors on the stage had some mixed reviews and feedback from students.
The doors opened at 7 p.m. and students walked into a mix of mash-ups, techno and house music under the performance of Daniel Boutoussov, a School of the Arts and Sciences junior, performing under his DJ name, "Chayu."
Boutoussov was highly energetic and eagerly interacted with the crowd during his time on stage.
Although about one-third of the total crowd arrived in time for Boutoussov’s performance, the students in attendance seemed to be enjoying his music and level of interaction.
Kevin Lopez, a School of Engineering junior, was impressed with Boutoussov's performance.
“The opening performance was great, I liked the diversity in genres.” Lopez said. “The first dude was cool because he played festival and trap.”
Boutoussov expressed how much he enjoyed himself, considering Mensa was the biggest artist he has ever opened for.
“It was such a cool experience," he said. "I f***ing loved it.”
When asked how he could describe his music, the best word he could come up with was “genre-less” but still he seemed appreciative of the opportunity to be playing it for his fellow students.
JMSN, the second set of the evening, was less popular among students in comparison to his fellow performers.
While JMSN is best-known for his R&B and electronica collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, the Rutgers student body did not seem to be too familiar with the artist's work.
“JMSN was whack, I’ve never heard of him,” Lopez said
As JMSN's performance was nearing the end, you could feel the crowd's pent up energy in anticipation of Mensa’s appearance. JMSN concluded with some jokes about where the drugs were and Mensa’s DJs took the stage.
The DJs warmed up the audience with popular hip-hop songs for about 15 minutes before Mensa explosively took the stage.
When Mensa came out for his first song the room lit up with excitement and the crowd started to get loud.
Mensa encouraged recklessness from the crowd with his popular single “No Chill,” and repeatedly expressed his disappointed in the crowd’s jumping capabilities.
The energy rose to a whole new level minutes into the song when Mensa climbed into the crowd to surf on top of the audience and encouraged the students to surf the crowd with him.
Later in the performance, Mensa took a minute to express his concerns on some current political issues and used his opinions to excite the crowd.
First, he shared his sympathy for the citizens of Paris after the horrific shootings that occurred that same day and encouraged the crowd to pray for the city.
He went on to say that, "Everyone has a voice today from Twitter to Facebook,” and continued with his concerns on police brutality on black Americans in our country.
He challenged the student body, and everyone else, to use their youth to join the movement in fighting against race issues in America and used this as introduction for one of his newer songs, “Ring the Bell,” which had a theme of expressionism on political issues and lyrics highlighting publicized incidents of police brutality.
The Rutgers student body was more than receptive, and the songs fueled the crowd to get louder.
Mensa concluded with his most popular song, “U Mad,” and the room really let loose. Nearing the end of the show, Mensa leaped from the stage, over two speakers, and back into the crowd.
He took a few selfies with the students and encouraged the crowd to hit him up on Twitter for after-parties, but reminded them to be safe and respectful in all of their after-show endeavors.
Students seemed to enjoy themselves at this semester's Beats on the Banks concert. The event itself was highly secured, giving its attendants a strong sense of safety, and RUPA was able to satisfy the entertainment needs of a majority of the Rutgers student body with their selection of artists.