East Coast rapper ‘brings the magic’ to campus
By Tristan E. M. Leach
Rider has many traditions: Midnight Breakfast, Eggscellent Egg Hunt, Cranberry Fest and more. While all these traditions made a return after COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted, one tradition that has yet to make its way back is the Student Entertainment Council (SEC) Concert.
The tradition invites a musical celebrity to perform in a Rider student-exclusive concert and has been a student favorite since its inception. The last time a concert took place was in September 2019, when artist A Boogie wit da Hoodie performed. When the pandemic swept the world, big music events all over the world were kept from taking place, including at the university. Even when it was deemed safe for schools to reopen, the event did not return.
Many students who had been attending Rider when the pandemic hit reminisced about the concerts, telling their younger friends and fellow peers about the A Boogie wit da Hoodie concert.
However, the 2019 concert will soon just be another good memory. March 24 sees the return of the SEC Concert with Nardo Wick and special guest Gloss Up.
Students like Lianne Litchfield, a sophomore film and television major, had heard about the experience from her friends and peers that had been at Rider pre-pandemic.
“I know they’ve talked about these experiences a lot. Now I’m finally gonna get to experience that myself and that’s pretty fun,” said Litchfield.
Wick is famous for songs such as “Who Want Smoke??” and “Me or Sum” which features rappers Future and Lil Baby. The rapper has been featured on 42 Dugg’s song “Opp Pack” and on rapper Katana 10400’s “She Want Me Dead!” For lovers of East Coast rap, Wick is a welcomed surprise, and for all of Rider student’s, the concert is one of the missing puzzle pieces in their university experience.
Nick Barbati, associate dean of campus life, works with SEC and was excited to help bring the event back to campus.
“I think [the concert] was important. One of the things that since COVID we’ve been hearing constantly is, ‘When is the Student Entertainment Council going to bring back the concert?’ And it has been a wonderful tradition over the years,” said Barbati. “Rider has had some really wonderful artists. I think at this point the timing felt safe and it felt right to allow students to celebrate with a large-scale concert that they’ve been asking for.”
Junior dance major Marissa Stellato expressed her happiness that the concert would bring a new feeling of life to campus.
“We haven’t really had a big event yet this semester. I think it’s something everyone will enjoy,” said Stellato.
Members of the Rider community were notified about the event on March 6, and excited students rushed to sign up for their tickets. The concert is exclusively for Rider students, who must wear wrist bands distributed on the day of the concert in the Student Recreation Center (SRC) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On March 20, the Rider community was informed that Wick would have a special guest: Gloss Up. Gloss Up is originally from Tennessee, and like Wick, appeared on the rap scene just a few years ago.
As March 24 approaches, anticipation fills the air as excited students ask their friends if they got their tickets yet. Rider is alive with tradition, and the community is ready for it.