Rap artist Lil Wayne took center stage Thursday night at Assembly Hall.
His concert was a part of the Dedication Tour, a personal thank you from Lil Wayne dedicated to all of his fans in cities he has rarely visited on his past tour runs, according to an IU Auditorium press release.
The concert featured special guest rap duo Rae Sremmurd.
Bloomington was his second-to-last stop on the tour — number 18 of 19 tour cities.
This is the first time Lil Wayne has performed at IU since 2011 when he headlined the Little 500 concert with rapper Nicki Minaj.
Assembly Hall was packed with fans. There was floor seating and three jumbo screens to project the concert to those in upper-level and faraway seating.
Rae Sremmurd, a rap group composed of brothers Khalif “Swae Lee” Brown and Aaquil “Slim Jimmy” Brown, were the concert’s opening act.
Their debut album, “Sremm Life,” was released in January 2015 and had several hit songs, including “No Flex Zone” and “No Type,” both of which the group performed Thursday night.
Austin Spahr, a senior and member of IU club hockey, attended the concert with his teammates.
His hockey team designed the jerseys Rae Sremmurd and their DJ, DJ Sremm, wore in the performance.
They have also designed jerseys for performers in the past, including YG’s at last year’s Little 500 concert.
“Right now, Rae Sremmurd is huge,” he said. “When you hear their songs on the radio, you don’t want to change it.”
Freshmen Ashely Eisler and Elaine Johnson came together and said they have been Lil Wayne fans for a long time.
“I’ve been obsessed with Lil Wayne since the eighth grade,” Eisler said. For Spahr, he said, part of Lil Wayne’s appeal is his familiarity.
“One thing that’s cool about Lil Wayne is that he’s a household name,” Spahr said. “We all grew up with him, and even if you don’t listen to rap, you know who he is.”
As Lil Wayne took the stage, the area went black.
Everything from his sun glasses to his shoes were black and white.
He was also smoking during his introduction and said he planned to have a good time.
He opened by saying, “My name is Mr. Carter” and performed “Mr. Carter” from his album “Tha Carter III.”
He then performed “Sorry for the Wait” and “I’m Goin In” before he stopped all music and said he was honored to be performing at IU.
The rapper’s set was about 45 songs from the past and present, each of which lasted around one and a half minutes.
A collaboration album with rapper 2 Chainz, “ColleGrove,” is set to come out Friday. His forthcoming album “Tha Carter V” still has no release date but is set to come out in 2016.
During an MTV interview in 2015, Lil Wayne said “Tha Carter V” will be his last Carter album and last solo album released.
He plans to retire at 35.
“I feel like he’ll never really retire,” Eisler said. “It’s something that you can never really retire from.”