Florida A&M University’s Homecoming is a tremendous occasion in Tallahassee, Florida. Students and alumni alike spend an entire week basking in traditions, ceremonies, and more for their beloved school.
One tradition that’s central to FAMU’s weeklong Homecoming celebration is the annual concert hosted at the Lawson Center on campus. On Saturday, nearly 3,000 fans were eagerly anticipating The City Girls and Saucy Santana. There was a high-octane energy that pulsed throughout the entire space – this mainly stemmed from the restless crowd. Preliminary acts including Kali, Eli Derby, Hit Em Up Rondo, Bobby Fishcale, and Seddy Hendrinx injected a bit of excitement into the concert. But, it was evident even during their performances that students were at the show to see the headliners.
When you think of Southern female hip-hop, you would never be able to diminish the impact of Trina. Brought out by DJ Demp, a legend in the college town, she immediately began running through a few of her most successful singles. The crowd excitedly rapped along to her opener “Da Baddest Bitch.” “Pull Over,” “Fuck Boy” and her remix verse on Latto’s “B*tch From Da Souf” ensued. Her appearance was yet another burst of energy that added to the overall feel of the concert. For the moments she was on stage, it was almost as if the show belonged to Trina. Quincy, Florida’s Bobby Fishcale followed the Miami rap titan.
A few acts later following appearances by Kali, Eli Derby, and more, Saucy Santana finally began his set. Fans screamed loudly and pushed through a barricade separating the crowd from the media pit to be right next to the stage. It was a bit before midnight when Santana began unleashing “Booty,” “Shisha,” “Walk Em Like A Dog,” “Walk” and more.
To see Saucy Santana on stage at a historically Black university, a space that’s known for rampant homophobia, transphobia, and sexism felt like watching a glass ceiling shatter. Similarly, hip-hop has been critiqued for dangerous, outdated perspectives, and this set proves Santana’s presence in the space is necessary, he’s a queer trailblazer with a commanding stage presence that’s undeniable. He’s also deserving of his moment due to the tremendous few years he’s had as he’s become more known amongst music fans.
After midnight Miami’s City Girls hit the stage. JT and Yung Miami’s remake of Salt-N-Pepa’s “I’ll Take Your Man” titled “Take Yo Man” was a thrilling opening. It set the stakes quite high for what came next: “Pussy Talk,” “Where The Bag At,” “Act Up,” “In My Feelings,” “Twerk” and more. Each of the songs they selected were quintessential City Girls songs that the audience enjoyed rapping along to. Equipped with background dancers, the duo offered up an enjoyable experience. Their lyrics were raunchy and gripping enough to capture the audience’s attention for the entirety of their set. Nothing was forced during the moments JT and Yung Miami shared with one another in front of the robust Tallahassee crowd.
During the show, no time was spent on addressing the hoopla surrounding Latto reportedly never being confirmed for FAMU’s Homecoming concert. Why address that when fans purchased tickets to enjoy three of the most exciting acts in Southern hip-hop right now? To top off the concert experience Saucy Santana and City Girls’ performances both featured moments where students were allowed to come on stage and dance, twerk, rap lyrics, and enjoy themselves. During these two different moments, the crowd’s temperament ranged from confident to downright ostentatious. But, by the time the show ended one thing was clear, FAMU’s students are self-assured and unafraid to have a night filled with audacious and sporadic moments.
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