The role of an opening act for any concert is typically straightforward: Get the crowd energized for the headliner.
At the 2010 Homecoming Concert, however, no fan in attendance will be more excited than Atlanta rapper Donnis, chosen as the opener for the biggest night of the year at the University of Miami.
“When I was approached, I didn’t know what to think,” said Donnis, whose real name is Ladonnis Crump. “I couldn’t believe it. This is one of my biggest concerts ever, my first concert at a university, and I’m geeked up.”
Crump’s rise to fame began while performing in Japan, where he was stationed with the U.S. Air Force. After releasing his 2009 mixtape “Diary of an ATL Brave,” backed by streetwear clothing label 10 Deep, Crump graced the cover of XXL magazine as one of 2010’s hip-hop “Freshmen of the Year.” DJ A-Trak, so impressed with Crump’s single “Gone,” signed the 26 year old to his label, Fool’s Gold Records, for a one-single deal.
Recent opening acts for the Homecoming Concert, including The Wailers and Robert Randolph, have impressed the crowd with tremendous performances. Crump’s close friends, hip-hop duo and 2008 Homecoming opener Kidz in the Hall, have already spoken with the Atlanta native about his biggest show yet.
“We’re all so excited for this,” Crump said. “We’re doing it big, hoping for some special guests, light shows, everything. We’re rehearsing for two or three weeks straight for this one.”
The headliner for the homecoming show will be announced this week. Crump, as one of the lucky few “in the know,” expressed his thoughts on opening for such a highly regarded act.
“Very few artists or groups have ever reached legendary status, but this is one of them,” Crump said. “It’s truly an honor to open this concert, it’s going to be a crazy night.”
Though a football game against Maryland and the annual Homecoming parade will draw countless former and current Hurricanes, the most memorable part of every Homecoming is the concert on the green. This year’s show is scheduled for the night of Nov. 5.
“Donnis has proven to be a rising hip-hop star, and his skills and command of the stage will be on full display as he opens the biggest show this University has ever seen,” said Max Winik, large venue concert chair for Hurricane Productions.
Camron Ghorbi may be contacted at email@example.com.