While N.C. Central University students lined the sidewalks before the McDougald-McLendon Arena, they received an email from NCCU’s Student Affairs office, informing them that Atlantic Records rapper, NoCap, experienced “unforeseen travel issues” and would not be headlining the concert.
The surprising news deterred a few students from attending, but most of them remained and were ready for the “Ultimate Homecoming Hip-Hop and R&B Concert.”
While students entered, they were greeted by DJ Smoke and members of NCCU’s Student Activities Board.
With music from SexyRed, Nicki Minaj, and Meek Mill, this team provided energy to an already anxious atmosphere.
As the last batch of students found their seats, the crowd screamed when they saw Muni Long step into the spotlight. Starting with fan favorite “Time Machine,” Long showed her skills with the mic, frequently getting the crowd to sing alongside her.
After the first song, she said she had a “present” and briefly left the stage. The crowd was in awe when she returned: She wore a different shirt that dawned the grey, black, and maroon of NCCU. It also had “Eagles,” “Durham,” and “NCCU” branded over the sleeves and back.
The rest of her tracklist, which featured “Boys ll Men,” “Pain,” and “Hours and Hours,” rounded out her performance, but it wasn’t without some fun.
Between tracks, Long sang a melody to the crowd and had the right side compete against the left in a singing contest. She also took selfies with a couple of Eagles and said she “always wanted to go to college.”
When her last track ended, she thanked the crowd for their energy and support. But before she went, she wanted to give away her shirt. She took it off, turned her back to the crowd, and, in bridal bouquet fashion, threw the shirt over her head and into the arms of a lucky Eagle.
After a brief intermission, it was Rob49’s turn. Donned in black and a large chain, it didn’t take long for him and the crowd to rap “Mama” in unison. When the first track ended, Rob pointed to the nosebleeds. “I see you,” he said.
Rob was referring to a security guard who was dancing to his music. Although he was in the crowd, his yellow vest made him easily recognizable. Once Rob acknowledged him, he jumped with joy. “That’s crazy, I mess with NC,” Rob said.
His time with the Eagles was more interactive than Long’s. He decided to take his phone and film the NCCU concert in real time.
“I’m a post y’all on Instagram,” Rob said.
Before a track, he asked to have the lights turned off, citing how peer pressure can limit a person’s confidence to “turn up.”
Rob’s performance ended with him dropping into the crowd and rapping alongside them.
“I’m going to turn up. Thank you for tonight,” he said ending the night.