The streets of Seymour Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey were flooded last Thursday evening as hip-hop fans filled the streets, lining up to enter the Wellmont Theater to attend Campus Chaos: Graduation, a concert headlined by rapper Gucci Mane. The show was presented by Crazy Koala, a concert promotion company founded by Montclair State University senior business marketing major Hassan Abdullah. The show also featured many of New Jersey’s local up-and-coming rappers.
Montclair police and Wellmont Theater staff were present outside the venue, controlling the flow of people as well as conducting bag checks to those entering. With the street closed by barricades, long box office lines and a line of people waiting to enter the Wellmont Theater, the show had a tremendous turn out.
Local artists opened the show at 7 p.m. At about 7:40 p.m. the floor level was partially full with rapper Strez on stage finishing his set. DJ Frank White followed, delighting the crowd with the biggest hip-hop hits to set the mood. DJ Khaled’s, “All I Do is Win” had attendees with their hands up, which warmed them up for the remainder of the night.
Female rapper Brooke Lynne and her dancers hit the stage at approximately 8 p.m. and instantly had the crowd vibing to her energy, rapping her latest singles.
Of the many up-and-coming local artists that performed, perhaps one of the most acclaimed was Hackensack, New Jersey rapper Coi Leray. Leray went on around 10 p.m. and instantly had the crowd following her flow. Leray’s intense energy while performing made its way to a crowd that was already warmed up and desperately wanting Gucci Mane to hit the stage.
At one point during the show, “Gucci Mane!” chants started to erupt throughout the full venue and fans wanted the “Trap God” to perform their favorite hits. Hot 97’s DJ Drewski calmed fans, playing today’s most popular tracks but later joined the chanters saying, “Make some noise if you want Gucci!” This sparked a roar from the audience who could not wait any longer.
At approximately 11:25 p.m. Gucci Mane hit the stage and the crowd went crazy. As expected, Gucci Mane was accompanied by his wife, model Keyshia Ka’Oir. With a full Wellmont Theater, Gucci Mane delivered a vibrant performance, making the entire audience sing along to his hits. Those who sat in the balcony section were having as much fun as those who were in the floor level dancing to the trap beats that shook the speakers.
Gucci Mane performed “I Get The Bag,” a collaboration with Migos, along with “Both,” a collaboration with Drake, while his wife shared the stage with him, dancing to her husband’s hits. He wore a Dolce & Gabbana brand tracksuit and performed his 2016 collaboration with Rae Sremmurd titled, “Black Beatles.”
While playing some of his most well-known songs, the rapper did not talk much, leaving it all in his performance. However, he did say he would perform old tracks for fans who have been supporting him since his early days. He performed one of his classics, “Wasted,” a track off his 2009 album, “The State vs. Radric Davis.”
After giving fans 30 minutes of an energy-filled performance, the rapper gave the crowd a farewell and thanked the hundreds who filled the Montclair venue for their support of his music. The crowd in return roared in screams, thanking the “Trap God” for putting on a great show.
Emily Olivero, who came from Newark, New Jersey, was not disappointed with her experience.
“It was a good show,” Olivero said. “It’s what I expected.”
Olivero said it was a night to remember and only had one complaint.
“The wait for Gucci Mane was too long, but we got an amazing concert,” Olivero said.
As the attendees exited the Wellmont Theater, smiles filled their faces. Almost everyone seemed to have had a great time watching Gucci Mane perform along with up-and-coming local artists.
“It was turnt and really lit, better than what I expected,” said Nelly Lawson, who was also present when Jay Critch performed at the Wellmont Theater on April 4. “I was happy to see Coi Leray again, she always gives a great performance.”
Abdullah said he did not watch most of the show due to him running the event, but in the end saw video recaps and felt happy with the work he had done.
“I did get a feel of it watching the recap videos and stuff,” Abdullah said. “It was the craziest feeling ever.”
Abdullah, who graduates in May, said that he will continue putting on shows and gradually growing his concert business. He hopes to host his first music festival in the summer of 2019.