Lights dimmed down, hands were raised and the crowd turned up.
About 3,000 students gathered in the O’Connell Center Monday night to bop along with Canadian rap icon Tory Lanez and Georgia hip-hop trio Travis Porter. The show was hosted by UF Student Government Productions and UF’s Black Student Union in honor of Black History Month.
The artists were picked to perform based on their availability and feedback from UF’s community, SGP chairman Jimmy Wheeler wrote in an email.
“Artist selection is dependent on input received from the SGP staff, other entities within SG, organizations that represent minority student organizations, as well as the student body as a whole,” Wheeler wrote.
According to his contract, Tory Lanez was paid $91,500 for his performance.
Spotlights came on right before 8 p.m. as Florida native DJ Koolaid, in a Gators hoodie, hyped up concertgoers with remixes of hits including Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode.”
“I bleed orange and blue, man,” he said. “I’m a Gator until I die.”
Just after 8 p.m., the members of Travis Porter joined DJ Koolaid for their song “Walked In,” carrying a Gators sweatshirt. The venue shook as the crowd sang along to songs including “Ayy Ladies” and “Go Shorty Go.” Phone lights waved as the trio dropped their sweatshirts and rapped “College Girl.”
“Make some noise for Snapchat,” they said as they took pictures with the front row.
The group and their DJ left chomping to the Gators fight song, and the crowd immediately began chanting Lanez’s name.
They were satisfied at 9:20 p.m. when Lanez stormed the stage to his song “All I Wanna Do,” bursting with energy as he jumped along with the crowd. Lanez led into his verse on 6ix9ine’s “Jackie Chan” and began calling out his fans by section, from right to left.
After working through older hits including “LUV” and “Say It,” Lanez sang tracks off his newest album “Chixtape 5,” including “Beauty in the Benz.”
“Right now, you feel like you have no purpose and you feel like sometimes you don’t have the potential to do what everyone else is doing,” Lanez said on stage. “That person is in this room, and you have the potential to be greater than me. Don’t ever forsake that feeling.”
Lanez ended his performance crowd surfing, telling his fans he loved them to death.
Dominique Griffin, a 22-year-old UF telecommunication senior, said she was really excited for the concert. She said she was anticipating Lanez performing his new album, and thinks he was a good pick for Black History Month.
“That’s my guy. He’s dope,” she said.