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EarthGang hypes crowd in AfterHours performance

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EarthGang hypes crowd in AfterHours performance

Hip hop duo EarthGang raps in AfterHours.

Hip hop duo EarthGang raps in AfterHours.

Photo courtesy Kelsi Yamada, CUP

Hip hop duo EarthGang raps in AfterHours.

Photo courtesy Kelsi Yamada, CUP

Photo courtesy Kelsi Yamada, CUP

Hip hop duo EarthGang raps in AfterHours.

Julia Crooijmans, news correspondent

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When the clock struck 7 p.m. on Thursday, AfterHours turned into a hip-hop nightclub.

The Council for University Programs hosted a concert there featuring EarthGang, a hip-hop duo composed of Johnny Venus and WowGr8 from Atlanta. Since releasing their acclaimed 2013 album “Shallow Graves for Toys,” EarthGang has drawn comparisons to Outkast for their funky beats, punchy lyrics and Atlantan roots.

Julian Yeboah, a fourth-year biology major, opened the show with his band. He sang and played the keys. Third-year computer science and musical technology major Barak Isaac was on alto sax. Third-year music industry and English major Dan Mulligan plucked away on bass. Ben DeUrso, who previously attended NU for a few semesters, provided a steady beat on drums.

Like the calm before the storm, Yeboah played smooth and soulful tunes from his first album, “Obsidian.”

Before Yeboah left the stage, he requested members of the audience to step up and infuse some freestyle flow into his music. He provided an R&B instrumental for volunteers to rap over.

“The most memorable part was performing and calling students up from the crowd to rap during our performance,” DeUrso said. “The energy was raw and high.”

Only the first 166 Northeastern students and their plus-ones were admitted to the free concert. Latecomers lined up outside the entrance during the performance, waiting for someone to leave early to be granted admission.

Jason Lai, a fourth-year health science major, learned about EarthGang a week before the concert. He wished he and his friends had arrived to the venue earlier.

“Unfortunately, we showed up too late and it was at capacity, so we didn’t get in at the beginning,” Lai said. “They were really interactive with the crowd for the short time I was there and had us screaming the sounds of our spirit animals.”

EarthGang stepped on stage in flashy attention-grabbing wear: Johnny Venus sported a half zipped orange snowsuit, while WowGr8 had a checkered fannypack slung around his chest.

They burned through songs, starting with old hits and ending with new unreleased content. Jonny Venus and WowGr8 bounced across the stage while they sang and encouraged the audience to do the same.

Fans of EarthGang, old and new, shared similar enthusiasm over the duo’s high-spirited stage presence and performance.

Miles Kirsch, a fourth-year bioengineering major, has listened to EarthGang for more than two years. He said the concert was one of the best he had been to.

“My favorite song would have to be ‘Up,’ an unreleased single that has unreal energy and features Johnny Venus flexing his insane vocal range,” Kirsch said.

Aside from previewing a song from their forthcoming albumMirrorland,” EarthGang also teased a collaboration with fellow Atlanta artist Young Thug.

In the midst of their performance, EarthGang invited seven members from the crowd to dance with them on stage.

“The most memorable part was when they brought me and others up on stage to dance,” Kirsch said. “I kind of blacked out, went crazy and really fed off the crowd’s energy.”

Throughout their performance, EarthGang had to overcome some technical difficulties and poor acoustics.

“[EarthGang] kept the audience riveted when they experienced an instrumental cut because of technical difficulties,” said Northeastern alum Karan Marwah. “They kept it going with a cappella.”

As the concert came to an end, the roaring crowd demanded an encore.

“Sure enough, they came back and did an encore,” Marwah said. “It was lit.”

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