Last night I went to see J. Cole perform at my school, Seton Hall University. Upon arrival, I grabbed a cup of free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Wait, what? Well it so happens that the concert is part of something called the Campus Consciousness Tour and Ben & Jerry’s is one of their sponsors. The Campus Consciousness Tour “aims to inspire and activate students in an electric atmosphere while leaving a positive impact on each community the tour visits.” The past few semesters they have toured to various college campuses with headlining artists such as Janelle Monáe, Wiz Khalifa, Passion Pit, and Drake. Environmental consciousness + ice cream + good music = something I can definitely get behind. Anyway, back to the concert:
At 8 PM, Big K.R.I.T. opened up the night. Along with J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T. has helped to bring Southern hip hop resurgence to the mainstream. I’ll be honest though – I had no idea what was happening because I’m not very familiar with his music. Also because I was awed and distracted by the fact that he looked like Tracy Morgan. Somehow Big K.R.I.T. was able to perform his song “Country Shit” without actually cursing so props to him for that.
When J. Cole finally got on stage an hour later, the crowd went crazy. He hyped everyone up with a big concert version of “Dollar and a Dream III.” The rest of the night he performed songs from his album Cole World: The Sideline Story, as well as other artists’ tracks he’s been featured on. Some of the set list included “Mr. Nice Watch,” “A Star is Born,” “Who Dat,” and “All I Want is You.” One of the highlights of the night was when J. Cole appeared on stage with a Seton Hall hoodie on and performed one of his most popular songs “Work Out.”
My only complaint about the musical aspect of the concert is that the band’s sound overpowered J. Cole’s vocals. There were times when I couldn’t really hear him rapping and I would need to read his lips to see where he was in the song. I loved that he didn’t need a hype man to be on stage with him – in fact, he has a great stage presence and commands your attention with just a look into the audience. And can I add that he’s a really handsome dude? I used to think he was alright but after seeing him in person, he’s seriously good-looking. Ignoring the fact that I was uncomfortably sweating bullets and squashed up against a smelly boy for the first half hour, the concert was an awesome experience. I don’t really know how to summarize the concert in one statement in a journalistic way so I’ll just say: IT WAS DOPE.