Junior Logan Long, known as LeeLo or LeeLoraps, pumped up the crowd as he opened for Lecrae at the spring concert. He performed at Messiah as part of Black History Month, thanks to the Student Activities Board and Black Student Union.
Long, vice president of BSU and business major was the first student to be chosen by SAB to open for an artist at a concert. The name LeeLo is a combination of his county, Lee, in Cape Coral, Florida and his nickname “Lo.”
Long was extremely grateful for the opportunity to share his passion for rap. “The experience was surreal,” Long said. “This was my first show; I had never done a sound check before. It was cool to perform here because I know a lot of people.”
At the age of six or seven, Long recalls being inspired to rap after being introduced to the genre by his dad. Music provides powerful and influential messages. For Long, the rap industry throughout the years has provided the opportunity for black people to voice their thoughts or concerns. “It gives people who look like me, an ability to make it to a stage and have a voice they otherwise wouldn’t have,” Long said. “It’s gone from something that was not accepted that came out of the Bronx, something only black people listened to, to the number one highest grossing genre in the world.”
“The opener is really important,” SAB Concerts Executive Seth Weber said. “It is hard to get an opener that people know based on the budget we have.” While not technically ‘famous’ in pop culture, LeeLo is a name that most Messiah students know.
Upon hearing LeeLo was opening for Lecrae, senior Abigail Lindquist listened to his music with her brother. “My younger brother, Josh was super excited about the openers for Lecrae,” said Lindquist. “Spending time listening to what they were going to be singing made me so much more excited for the openers!”
Performing on the same stage as Lecrae was enjoyable for Long. However, he was a little nervous at first. “For the first four bars, I was kind of shaky in my voice and I was like ‘what’s going on,?’” Long said. Then I was like, ‘okay, this is what I like to do, I might as well represent it well.’”
Long made the effort to appreciate the surreal moment. “I’m thankful God put this opportunity in my place,” Long said.
Among the five songs Long performed, he stated that “Rock,” was his personal favorite, as it was a song about his mom. “She wasn’t able to come, but she really appreciated it,” Long said. “I sent her the video of it and even though she wasn’t there, I was still thinking of her.”
Long’s dad was able to fly up from Florida to see his son perform. He said he has always been supportive of Long’s music.
When it came to getting the crowd excited, Long recalled his song “Moves” which had the crowd grooving. “It was one of those songs where people are bouncing and jumping,” he said.