The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Rapper Swae Lee takes the stage at packed UI Homecoming concert

SCOPE Productions and the University of Iowa hosted Swae Lee on the Pentacrest Friday night.
Kathy Le
Rapper Swae Lee performs during University of Iowa Homecoming on the Pentacrest in Iowa City on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023.

Despite the chilly fall weather, at least a thousand University of Iowa students and Iowa City residents stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the Pentacrest Friday to see rapper Swae Lee perform.

Lee is a multi-time Grammy nominee with several top-100 hits, like “Sunflower” with Post Malone, “Be Like That,” and “Calling.”

The rapper and his brother, Slim Jxmmi, make up the rap duo Rae Sremmurd. Together, they’ve released four studio albums and have multiple charting singles, such as number one hit “Black Beatles,” “Swang,” and “This Could Be Us.”

Additionally, Lee has a massive following. 12 million fans on Instagram and, between his solo work and Rae Sremmurd, he has 40 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

SCOPE Productions, a student group devoted to providing quality entertainment, organized the event. General Manager of SCOPE Cat Dooley said this year’s goal was to do something memorable.

“The university gave us a little bit of extra budget this year to bring in a crowd,” Dooley said. “We wanted to do something big and get people talking, and we landed on Swae Lee being the right fit for Iowa City.”

Bringing in a world-famous artist isn’t an easy task. “It’s been a surreal experience,” Dooley said. “We’ve been planning since June.”

In  2022, SCOPE hosted NoSo and Sir Chloe.

SCOPE’s goals for the concert were certainly met. Audience members began filing onto the Pentacrest over two hours before the show. As the sun set and the stage lights came up, the crowd only grew.

Local DJ Azaria kicked off the show by mixing a few tracks and getting the crowd excited before Lee made his entrance.

“When I say Swae, you say Lee,” Azaria said as he engaged the crowd. Its response was almost deafening.

Lee entered to a massive cheer and began his set with “No Type,” followed by a wide variety of songs, both from his own discography and from Rae Sremmurd’s. He even threw in a remix of Wiz Khalifa’s 2011 hit “Black and Yellow,” a Hawkeye fan favorite.

“These are the moments you have to enjoy,” Lee told the crowd from on stage. “I’m not gonna lie, we’re off to a crazy start.”

Under the bright and colorful lights, a shirtless Lee delivered a stellar performance that included hanging from the stage beams, taking photos with the crowd, and busting out some moves on stage.

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About the Contributors
Will Bower
Will Bower, Arts Reporter
Will Bower is a freshman student at the University of Iowa. Hailing from the suburbs of Des Moines, Will has a double major in Journalism and History. Before arriving in Iowa City, Will worked on his high school publication and was active in the theatrical arts. At the Daily Iowan, Will works as a news reporter and looks forward to gaining experience in a professional newsroom.
Kathy Le, Photojournalist
Kathy Le is a fourth-year student at The University of Iowa majoring in 3D design and Art History. This is her first year working as a photojournalist of Daily Iowan.