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Jeremih, Juicy J and Ella Mai come to CSULB

A small audience provides a lively reception of R&B and hip hop artists Friday.

R%26B+singer+and+headliner+Jeremih+brought+the+energy+during+the+during+the+Associated+Students+Inc.+Big+Event+2017+Friday+at+the+Walter+Pyramid.
R&B singer and headliner Jeremih brought the energy during the during the Associated Students Inc. Big Event 2017 Friday at the Walter Pyramid.

R&B singer and headliner Jeremih brought the energy during the during the Associated Students Inc. Big Event 2017 Friday at the Walter Pyramid.

Jose De Castro

Jose De Castro

R&B singer and headliner Jeremih brought the energy during the during the Associated Students Inc. Big Event 2017 Friday at the Walter Pyramid.

Jason Enns, Arts & Life Editor

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The stage was set, the lights were dimmed and the seats of the Walter Pyramid were filled — well, sort of.

Students received a slightly more intimate show than they might have expected with artists Ella Mai, Juicy J and Jeremih Friday night for the 2017 ASI Big Event. With three nights left to prepare for Monday finals, students found themselves in one of three categories: those wanting to go to the concert but too busy with school, those who either don’t know who Jeremih is or just don’t care, and those who were engaged in the very loud distraction from the week ahead. As it would turn out, a majority of the school fell in one of the first two groups.

A roar of cheers came from the seats as the emcee shouted, “If you are ready, and over with finals, get loud.” It reminded everyone why they wanted to let loose in the first place, and set the tone of the night.

Though the crowd could have been larger, those who attended formed a crowd electric enough to make it a fun and exciting evening for themselves and the artists performing. Students jumped and screamed, dancing to the heavy bass tracks of Juicy J, such as “Dark Horse” and “Bandz A Make Her Dance,” and sing along to the melodic vocals of Jeremih, as he performed songs such as “Oui” and “Birthday Sex.”

“I appreciate you all for having me here, I had a blast on stage tonight,” Jeremih said in a press conference following his performance. “Hopefully you all had fun as much as I did and I can’t wait to come back here and just turn up again.”

“My last song [was the highlight for me],” Ella Mai added. “Everyone was singing along with me, and everyone had their glow sticks out just having a good time.”

The audience members were specifically told to stay in their seats, so naturally everyone’s first instinct was to charge the stage as soon as the music began. No one seemed to have hangups about dancing in place, but everyone seemed more comfortable doing  so once a huddle around the stage was formed. Those with stadium tickets couldn’t afford that luxury, but it didn’t stop anyone from dancing in their seat, just never on their seat as security regularly enforced.

Jeremih, a spoken advocate for higher education, would’ve probably been happy to perform at Cal State Long Beach regardless of the turnout.

“I’ve always been an advocate, I feel like education is key,” said Jeremih. “It not only gave me knowledge, [but drive]… everyday just going and getting to it was really the daily basis [at my school].”

He offered this advice to students, especially those pursuing degrees in the arts: “Stick with it, don’t quit it, you’re bound to get it,” Jeremih said.

He says that what works for him is to just be himself, and be consistent and he encourages other artists to do the same.

“I love to make music, so it’s not really that challenging going in everyday, going up to the mic and just saying what I feel,” Jeremih said. “To remain consistent and creative is always one of the biggest challenges for any artist.”

Juicy J and Jeremih both agreed that it’s a good time to be in hip-hop and R&B, and to collaborate with other artists.

“A lot of rappers have been singing and a lot of singers have been rapping, so when it comes to collaborations I feel like I’ve been here consistently because of that,” Jeremih said. “I feel like R&B and Hip Hop are in a good state right now just do to that fact.”

But after the music stopped, the lights turned off and the crowd euphoria faded, students returned to their studies for one last week. So, whether you were too busy, uninterested or had a great time taking yourself away from the books for a few hours Friday, every student can take away a little inspiration from Juicy J who said this about performing with a twisted ankle: “It ain’t easy, but I make it work.”

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