As free tickets slipped from eager palms, many sweaty, euphoric students filed into the Sett for a night of millennial gospel.
Headliner Allen Kingdom, in addition to Minneapolis-native Bobby Raps and Madison’s own Me eN You, were Friday night’s entertainment Sept. 18. Together with the audience they would create a rowdy exposé of alternative hip-hop.
Me eN You began the concert, filling the stage with actual instruments, something that was not a recurring theme throughout the night. Saxophone, percussion and guitar — and the group’s ability to switch between different singers and rappers — enriched their visual presentation and musical integrity. Me eN You collectively produced a smooth fusion of rap and funk.
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A member of Me eN You, rapper/singer Lord of the Fly said before the show, “We are here to change the world.”
Lord of the Fly’s bold charisma both onstage and off were verified throughout the night. With shaggy hair, purple windbreakers, short shorts and white sneakers, the band’s enthusiastic performance conjured up images of 1970’s Lakers fans staging a raucous gala around the slain corpse of Boston’s heyday baller Larry Bird.
In short, You eN Me brought the house down.
Bobby Raps — big, bearded and terrifying — later took the stage and spat slick rhymes over bass-heavy production. The crowd responded to the heightened sense of “hype, boost, dope and masculine overcompensation,” that had suddenly melted their brain like too much Natural Light and too little reading.
Could this newfound enthusiasm be a result of the long-haired, hockey-jersey-wearing man that appeared before the set, dancing and throwing caution to wind in the hopes of wafting some kind of vapid drug that strove to lobotomize the innocent crowd?
Regardless, chants of “Bobby” at the end of this performance made it clear that people were happy with the time they’d spent in that loud sauna.
Just before headliner Allan Kingdom’s set, someone came out and said the crowd needed to stop moving the barriers and chill out so the show could go on. Despite the venue’s failed attempt to cool the crowd, Kingdom had no fear taking the stage alone. Unlike You eN Me with their instruments and Bobby Raps with his hype groupies, the Twin Cities rapper had his charisma and talent to woo his audience.
This man looked like the epitome of a serious young artist. Kingdom lived up to his name with track after track of soulful, new-age hip-hop that several people in the front rows were quoting word for word.
All in all, the talent coming out of the Midwest, Madison and Minneapolis is truly inspiring and Madison encourages Allan Kingdom, Bobby Raps and You eN Me to keep up the amazing work.