During his Thursday performance at the Liacouras Center, Fetty Wap apologized to an audience of more than 6,000 people.
“I wanna apologize to y’all for not making it last time,” he said. “I hurt my f—ing leg. That’s what you get for riding a motorcycle with one eye.”
The rapper’s Sept. 26 motorcycle crash delayed one of Temple’s best-selling homecoming concerts for three months. But on Thursday night, the audience waited just a little while longer for Fetty Wap to finally take the stage at about 10:45 p.m., dressed in a white jacket with matching ripped jeans and gold chains around his neck. He was greeted by a mix of cheers and relief from the audience.
During the fall semester, the Main Campus Program Board announced “Owlchella” as the homecoming concert originally planned for Oct. 9. Maryland-based rapper Logic was the first performer announced to students on Aug. 31, with additional artists unveiled each day after, including R&B singer Jhené Aiko and rapper French Montana.
“People will come to see Fetty because he’s the guy right now,” said Yasine Baroudi, a junior film major from Englewood, New Jersey. “I know a lot of people not even from Temple that bought tickets: people in South Jersey, from Rowan University, all over.”
Baroudi’s hometown is just a few miles away from Fetty Wap’s hometown of Paterson—where he crashed his motorcycle—and where he attended several of the rapper’s shows before he became popular.
“He was always making money—that’s why his nickname is Fetty,” Baroudi said.
Some students, like senior media studies and production major Devin Fonrose, planned to attend class the next day after a late exit: Fetty Wap closed his set with “Trap Queen” around 11:30 p.m.
“Waking up in the morning will be different,” he said. “But it’s worth the money. Especially for Temple getting four artists to come do this, you don’t get this too often.”
University Event Directors Katie Calderone and Danielle Snowden said MCPB worked closely with Lee Grimes of Babco Entertainment to book the artists after MCPB conducted surveys and focus groups to concert lineups to which Temple students would be most receptive.
“We got a call from Lee saying that Fetty Wap wanted to postpone the concert, [but] he wanted to still come to Temple and make sure he did it right,” Calderone said.
After Fetty Wap’s cancelation, MCPB tried to move the date to Oct. 7, but that would cause them to also lose French Montana’s availability.
Calderone said the initial concert was almost sold out—the Liacouras Center seats around 9,000 people, and about 8,000 tickets were sold.
She said MCPB decided to reschedule the date for the current spring semester and had to work with the Liacouras Center to arrange ticket refunds and postponement plans.
In addition to rescheduling the entire concert, Jhené Aiko dropped from the lineup entirely due to scheduling conflicts. MCPB worked with Babco to replace her with Wale, a rapper from Washington D.C.
Owlchella took place Thursday with five performing acts, with Bas as the opening act, followed by Wale, Logic, French Montana and finally Fetty Wap.
The show sold 6,278 tickets total, still one of the highest-selling concerts in MCPB history.
The release of Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” last year garnered a lot of mainstream attention, Calderone said.
“I think it was great timing—Fetty Wap had the right marketing, the right kind of look and he definitely just came up on the scene,” she said. “Even Logic, too, he just had an album release which was perfect timing because new music means new fans.”
Asante Abdullah, a senior business major who has attended every homecoming concert since freshman year, said he thought French Montana’s performance was the highlight of the concert.
“His stage presence was electrifying,” Abdullah said. “During a few of his songs he asked the crowd to put their lighters up, and within seconds, the entire place was lit.”
“Overall, the concert was great vibes,” he added. “When you looked around and saw how music brought everyone together in that way, it made you feel good to be an Owl.”
Alexa Zizzi and Owen McCue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.