Hip Hop Festival: Bennett Performs, NoName Cancels


COURTESY OF Trip Slaymaker ’18. Taylor Bennett Performing at Trinity’s Annual Hip Hop Festival

The Trinity Annual Hip Hop Festival concluded in a concert in the Washington Room last Saturday Night. The headliners, Rappers Taylor Bennett and Noname, both Chicago natives, had drawn a crowd of around two hundred spectators to a lively and excited atmosphere.
The Saturday night concert functions as the most important part of the Hip Hop festival from a marketing standpoint. Images of both Noname and Bennett were featured in advertisements for the entire weekend.
Noname’s career has been steadily increasing in prominence in musical communities, but the buzz surrounding her presence on campus was of a level that she was spotted by only some spectators while mingling in the crowd early in the evening. The pairing of NoName and Bennett was appropriate, as NoName attained higher recognition from her verses on Bennett’s brother Chance the Rapper’s track “Lost” from his mixtape “Acid Rap.”
After several hours of hype-building from the MC, Bennett took the stage. Noname was certainly the more anticipated of the two performers, Bennett was preceded by palpable excitement in the crowd. Accompanied by a large band of performers, including drummers and a Saxophonist, Bennett captured his audience’s attention and made the concertgoers dance to his rhythms.
Bennett’s voice was reminiscent of Chance the Rapper’s slightly raspy intonations, but had its own forcefulness and power about it. It is this distinction that has helped Bennett lead a healthy career in spite of his more famous family member. Bennett stood alone as his own artist while still paying respect to Chance. After a short but powerful performance of his own most popular songs, followed by a few of his brother Chance the Rapper’s hits, Bennett left the stage while singing the praises of the next performer, NoName.
Instead of Noname, a messenger appeared onstage and spoke to the MC, who informed the crowd that NoName would not be performing. Though the performer’s absence was unexplained at the time of the concert, and left many of the Hip Hop fans assembled on campus feeling disappointed, NoName’s manager cited illness as the reason for her cancellation of shows the following day at other venues.
The evening ended as the crowd slowly dispersed, while audience volunteers performed on stage. The crowd that remained discussed Noname’s absence or listened to the volunteer performers, though most were well wishers hoping Noname would be able to perform again soon.

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