As any DJ worth their salt can attest, party-rocking is an art, one that requires a delicate balance of musical knowledge, timing and self-awareness, executed with the very tricky end goal of motivating people you don’t know to take off their cool. That said, a DJ who can handle a microphone, addressing the crowd as they fire off records, is a different beast altogether. DJ Finesse, who held it down between sets at Grambling State University’s very special college edition of vitaminwater uncapped, is well familiar with the power of his own voice. He used it to get students out of the seats of Grambling’s T.H. Harris auditorium and dancing in the aisles. The Louisiana university won a contest to bring uncapped to their school by racking up more votes than any other school participating. The show’s first audible reaction came for Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like (Remix)” and then 2 Chainz’ “Birthday Song,” but never was it more apparent that the Bayou State was in the house than when Lil Boosie’s “Exciting” rang out from the speakers, followed immediately by Webbie’s “My People.”
“Free Boosie,” in fact, was a recurring theme Monday night, uttered repeatedly by DJ Finesse as well as headliner Future and his DJ, X-Rated. Songstress Jhene Aiko brought a more subdued vibe, attendees swaying in their seats while sipping vitaminwaters and drinking in selections from her Sailing Souls mixtape. Things took a slight turn for the nostalgic when she performed a heartwarming rendition of 2Pac’s “Keep Ya Head Up,” Aiko’s adorably mousy rap voice shouting out the sistas on welfare.
For all DJ Finesse’s crowd-motivation though, he saved what may be the crunkest song in the country right now, French Montana’s “Pop That,” for DJ X-Rated, who unleashed it to open Future’s set. Future himself took the reigns with Pluto’s “Straight Up,” beginning what was essentially one big sing along. Throughout his set, Future went deep into his mixtape catalogue, frequently testing the student body’s pedigree with sappy end-of-disc cuts like Astronaut Status’ “Rider” and “No Matter What” and also trunk rattlers like “Gone 2 Da Moon” and “Itchin.” It was “Turn On The Lights” though, Future’s finale, that made the night, attendees spellbound as if it were the moment they’d been waiting for the entire evening. Not even Future himself could ignore what he’d inspired, removing his signature dark shades to bear witness to the students fawning over their swag overlord.
Check out photos from the evening below, and the vitaminwater YouTube channel for exclusive videos from all of this year’s uncapped events.