By Ayana Archie
The crowd was getting antsy with each passing minute. Friday’s Art Attack XXXIV did not go as planned. Ty Dolla $ign, one of two headliners for the spring concert, cancelled his appearance shortly before the event began.
Student Entertainment Events tweeted about the change in lineup at 6:05 p.m., and the concert was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
It is unclear why Ty Dolla $ign was unable to perform.
“SEE works diligently to plan all of our events and situations like this are unfortunate and unexpected,” SEE, the organization that plans Art Attack, wrote in a statement.
The rapper/singer was replaced by Maryland rappers Wordsmith and Innanet James.
“I’m upset that he’s not here,” senior computer science major Kumar Patel said.
2 Chainz, the night’s headliner, commanded the stage with his delivery and style. He maneuvered through his set with leaning dance moves, acapella verses and even some comedy.
“I’m 2 Chainz, I’m a Virgo, and I enjoy long walks in the park,” he said between songs.
He packed several of his songs and features within his time on stage, performing some of his biggest hits, including “Good Drank,” “I’m Different,” “Blessings” and “Bandz a Make Her Dance.” He wrapped up with “Watch Out.”
Before Wordsmith and Innanet James, the concert opened with student rock band The Radiographers, who earned their spot by winning Battle of the Bands in March. They took the stage clad in slightly-unbuttoned print shirts and began their set shortly after 7 p.m.
Rapper Wordsmith began his set with a spoken word piece and transitioned into a series of songs about everything from partying to protesting, many of which incorporated EDM. He told the audience that he wanted to entertain, but also wanted to include a valuable message.
“Y’all better get out my way, Imma make a statement day by day,” he rapped.
The crowd perked up when Innanet James began his set. James is an underground rapper from Maryland, but his exposure and popularity has been increasing. His song “Black” was included in the season premiere of Netflix’s “Dear White People,” and his debut EP Quebec Place, was reviewed by Pitchfork last year, earning a 7.5 on a scale from one to 10.
James performed several of the songs from the EP, including “Frequency,” “Jams” and “Summer,” which has accumulated over 760,000 plays on SoundCloud.
James’s stage presence was boisterous but relaxed as the crow bobbed their heads along to the techno and funk-influenced melodies. The colorful, sporadic light show added an extra layer of energy to the set.
“I lead you like I’m Moses to the truth, or James Saint Patrick, power with a passion,” he rapped during “Frequency.”
2 Chainz performed despite one of his children being in the hospital. He was scheduled to fly back to Atlanta immediately following his performance.
“Thank you for being patient,” he said. “Thank you for the love.”
His next album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, is set to release next month.
Featured Photo Credit: Innanet James performs in front of Maryland students at Art Attack 2017. (Gabe Fernandez/Bloc Photographer)
Ayana Archie is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.