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December 1, 2022

Rapper Desiigner electrifies crowd at Hoptoberfest

By JINGYAN ZHANG | October 12, 2022

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COURTESY OF JINGYAN ZHANG

This year's Hoptoberfest concert was headlined by Desiigner, a rapper.

The week-long festivities of Hoptoberfest 2022 concluded on Oct. 8, with an exhilarating performance from Brooklyn-born rapper Desiigner at Shriver Hall. Known by his stage name Desiigner, Sidney Royel Selby III is perhaps best known amongst the Gen Z undergraduate student body for his hit debut single “Panda,” which premiered in December 2015. By May 2016, “Panda” had reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, ending a nine-week streak of “Work” by Rihanna featuring Drake. 

For the opening act, SungBeats entertained the crowd with his own beats, covers of popular rap songs and teaching members of the crowd to beatbox. Mimicking the music of cellos, trumpets, bass drums and more, he impressed everyone with his unique abilities. Making his way up and down the audience, SungBeats taught the crowd how to make certain phonetic noises just using our mouths.

One of the highlights was SungBeats inviting a group of students on stage and recording their voices saying phrases or making vocal imitation noises, which he manipulated those sounds to create a new song using turntablism techniques — for instance, looping a sound effect or altering the pitch of a given noise. This served as an enjoyable precursor to the star of the show.

Naturally, when the Hopkins Students Organization for Programming arranged for Desiigner to perform, a sold-out crowd of 900 students partook in the festivities. With crowd-favorite tracks like “Panda,” “Jaguar” and “Tiimmy Turner,” students were immediately enthralled by Desiigner’s electrifying demeanor and ability to cultivate an excellent experience for the concertgoers.

Donning his iconic black puffer down jacket and a heavy-duty silver chain around his neck, Desiigner transformed our classic Shriver Hall into an entirely opposite ambiance, complete with strobe lights and deafening rhythms. 

Amongst the highlights of Desiigner’s performance, the rapper selected a lucky few in the front rows to join him on stage. Not only were they encouraged to dance and revel with Desiigner himself, but at one point a student was handed the microphone to rap to “Jaguar” themselves. This engagement with the crowd maintained dynamic levels of energy. 

Persistently maintaining a high-energy atmosphere throughout the entire hour or so, Desiigner was well-received by concertgoers. People clamored towards the front row to get closer to the stage, and there was a general affinity for Desiigner’s aura and presence on stage. It was clear that the rap concert as a whole was an entertaining weekend activity for the students. 

The concert was originally scheduled to occur on the Beach, but the location was changed to Shriver Hall on the day of the event. Although the space allocated for the audience was not optimal in terms of movement, it was still a pleasurable experience. As the cold weather and midterms creep up on us, the Hoptoberfest concert was an exciting opportunity to let loose.

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