Armani White takes Foellinger Auditorium by storm with energetic performance

Armani+White+tosses+fruit+snacks+into+the+crowd+during+his+performance+at+Foellinger+Auditorium+on+Wednesday.+White+also+threw+the+box%2C+which+hit+a+concertgoer+in+the+head.

Angel Saldivar

Armani White tosses fruit snacks into the crowd during his performance at Foellinger Auditorium on Wednesday. White also threw the box, which hit a concertgoer in the head.

By Maaike Niekerk, Staff Writer

Student organization Star Course hosted rapper Armani White at Foellinger Auditorium on Wednesday night. 

Originally scheduled for March 2, the postponed event saw a turnout of roughly 75 energetic students on April 5.

Though the crowd was small, the energy brought to the event made it feel like a stadium performance.

White is best known for his 2022 hit single “Billie Eilish.” The song went viral on social media app TikTok and peaked at No. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 2022.

With over 200 million streams on Spotify, the song has additionally been used in over one million TikTok videos.

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White began releasing music in 2017, with his first single “NYC Window.” Since then, he has cemented himself as a verified artist on Spotify, with around eight million monthly listeners.

The audience brought the noise and energy throughout his 30-minute set, which was preceded by two short openers.

A member of rap group Purely Blue led with a 15-minute rap set, followed by rap group SBG Malik.

White used his trademark line, “glock tucked big T-shirt Billie Eilish,” to open the show. 

White was adamant about interacting with the audience and getting to know people, fully introducing himself and shaking hands with crowd members. 

Towards the beginning of the set, he gave out an entire box of Welchs’ fruit snacks, even going as far as to throw the empty box into the crowd. This gesture was generally well received, but the box did hit an audience member in the head. 

Additionally, White held a midconcert dance contest for $75, won by University student Kia, “like the car” according to White, Southerland.

A small technical issue threatened to derail the middle of the set as music refused to play from the speakers, but White carried on in acapella style until sound was restored. He sat on the edge of the stage and rapped to his fans.

Concertgoers had a variety of reasons for attending.

Olivia Dencker, freshman in LAS, said she was there to do a concert report for her hip-hop class.

Dencker said AFRO 228, a current course on the history and culture of hip-hop music, encouraged students to attend White’s performance to branch out their music tastes.

While some crowd members certainly proved to be White fans by energetically shouting his lyrics throughout the show, others were only familiar with his most popular hit.

Isaiah Neal, freshman in Engineering, said he’s only listened to “Billie Eilish,” though he did enjoy the show.

“I still think it’s fun to actually go to a concert, especially a bit after COVID when everything was closed up,” Neal said. 

The concert was completely planned by Star Course, the University of Illinois Student Concert Committee. 

Star Course is a student-run organization that works to promote and plan live performances for their fellow students on campus.

Past artists brought to campus by Star Course include indie pop band Beach Bunny, rapper Doja Cat, hip-hop duo EarthGang and rapper bbno$. All of these performances, like Armani White, have been hosted in Foellinger Auditorium. 

 

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