by Jenn Speight
Rapper and GC student AJ Crew (AJ Phomalee) had an hour after last week, and for those of you who weren’t in attendance, you certainly missed a treat. AJ Crew has been celebrated for his creativity and uniqueness. He has collaborated with other up and coming rappers like Rhymefest and Cleveland native Chip the Ripper. AJ is a hip hop enthusiast who brings an energy and a passion to his shows that excites the crowd almost as much as the songs he performs.
AJ’s Friday performance was high energy despite lower than expected attendance. Those who were at his show had a great time, as one could hear the audience reciting the words along with Crew to songs like Come Close by Common, Superstar by Lupe, Don’t Leave Me by Blackstreet, This Love by Maroon 5, and AJ’s original songs like I Hate College.
His Saturday performance, however, was even better, despite sound and technical difficulties. The crowd was more enthusiastic, more people came out, including several people who had come to both performances because they enjoyed the hour after so much. Saturday night Performers laid their talent out on the stage and gave more with each key and each note.
The theme of the International Players’ Ball was classy, so GC came out dressed up and ready to dance. Ladies donned everything from full length dresses to skinny jeans and stillettos, while some of GC’s men were in suits and ties, sweater vests, and other swanky sorts of outfits.
The band and vocalists included people like AJ, Sammy Rosario, Nate West, Jeremy Pope, Angelica Lehman, Sabrina Swain, James Green, Isaac Lederach and a full band with Rafael Chavez Moreno, Raymond Waweru, Ally Uhey, Cody Henson and Nate Klink.
Hours of work and practice came together to make this hour after a success. Lehman, one of the lead vocalists stated that “putting a show together is always going to be a sweet experience…but what makes it even better? a sweet audience. Saturday night, especially, a real good time. everyone really just enjoyed themselves. I know I did”.