By: Julian Guilarte – Reporter
Spring Jam 2017 will be held from 9 pm to 1 am on Friday, April 28 for the fifth consecutive year. Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert is headlining the concert, but a William Paterson student will also be taking the stage.
The university gave students the opportunity to audition for a chance to perform the opening act this year for the first time. After auditions and campus-wide voting, Kennedy Smith, better known as “Geno Five” on stage, was named Spring Jam’s first-ever student act.
“I was hype. It felt like winning the lottery. I jumped around for a few seconds and then I realized that now that I have received this opportunity, I must deliver a quality performance,” Smith said. “There will be songs that I will perform for the first time since Spring Jam is a completely different setting.”
During his audition Smith performed his tracks “Don’t Get Stuck” and “Vibrations.” Smith displayed high energy along with good production and hard lyrics.
Chants could be heard throughout the performance proving that Smith has become a fan favorite at William Paterson University. He has drawn high praise from his peers who compare him to J-Cole and Kendrick Lamar.
“When I go out on that stage you can expect energy, passion, and ‘litness,’” Smith said.
But the senior from Englewood, NJ has spent years at open mics and many other campus events before gaining recognition. He hoped that he would get an opportunity to perform for fellow Pioneers one day.
“At the end of the day I only made myself an option for Spring Jam,” he explained. “You guys are the ones who actually put me on stage.”