The Premiere Lounge brought in a flock of people for a performance by rapper Twista.
The Chicago native sold out the venue Friday night for his 40th birthday. The event was held by Get Money Group and hosted by Rudy and Mz JQ. Hip-hop groups 40 Block Ent, Get Money Group, London Low and Knelly Known also took the stage.
Twista set a Guinness World Record in 1992, for Fastest Rapper by spitting 598 syllables in 55 seconds. Since then, he has been featured on the Billboard Top 100, received Grammy nominations and has had his music featured in motion pictures such as “Coach Carter.”
The artist has always been considered an Illinois favorite, said Laron Washington, Premiere Lounge owner and SIU alumnus.
“Twista is a Chicago artist, so the Chicago people really love him,” Washington said. “Anybody in this state really loves Twista because he tours the state often. It was an honor for us to have him here. He could have chosen anywhere else in Carbondale, so we truly feel blessed.”
Twista started the show with his award-winning “Slow Jamz,” and the night didn’t slow down from there. The rapper preformed many different songs from throughout his career. He continually pleased the crowd with fan favorites such as “Overnight Celebrity,” “Wetter” and “Let’s Go.” The night was topped off by a dance competition before eventually winding down just before the venue closed.
The Friday night crowd showed an array of individuals; from parents to students, many groups of people packed the venue.
“I was very happy with the turnout,” said co-host Jonquil Curry, a senior from Calumet City studying radio-television. “It hit capacity early, and it was a very diverse crowd.”
Other than Twista, the event featured groups 40 Block Ent., Knelly Known, So Lost and London Low. Curry said London Low seemed to grab the most attention out of all the opening acts.
“London Low definitely did her thing,” Curry said. “I really enjoyed her performance.”
Rapper 40 Block said being an opening act for a childhood hero is a dream come true. He said he idolized the Illinois artist throughout his life and was pleased when he found out that he would open for him.
“I grew up on him,” he said. “You have all these guys you look up to when you are young. To be able to open up for (Twista) was awesome.”
Area residents also came around to check out the show, and some said they felt nostalgic after hearing songs that reminded them of their past.
“Some of the old songs I listened to back in high school really brought me back,” said Jenny Mills, a Carbondale resident. “It was really put on well.”
Having such a large turnout, event hosts Blair, Curry and Washington said this is only the beginning. There will be a number of events that will appeal to the SIUC community, they said.
“You should be expecting a lot of future events here at the Premiere Lounge with a lot of artists that we feel southern Illinois will love to come out and see,” Washington said.
Blair said she was pleased with the performance.
“It was a great experience,” she said. “A lot of people came together for this event, so the love and unity was definitely in the venue tonight.”