Rap artist Gorilla Zoe played a university-sponsored show hosted by the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity Sept. 3 at the Pepsi Center.
Doors opened at 7:30 p.m., and the show began at approximately 9 p.m. with opening guest and local rapper Jeremy Jones, who goes by the stage name JBravo, taking the stage first.
“We’re just having a good time. It’s good to be back home for me,” said JBravo, who has been working with Zoe as well as T-Pain and Twista for the last couple of years.
The show took to full force as Gorilla Zoe took over the Pepsi Center dressed in a gold and black windbreaker.
He played a mixed variety of older hits and newer projects that struck a chord with the roaring crowd.
His songs “Echo” and “Red Cup” were the big crowd-pleasers of the night.
“This is the kind of show I want to see here,” freshman Caitlyn Denty said. “The show was pretty flawless.”
With the last song, Gorilla Zoe jumped into the crowd. With the finale, Zoe invited several students onstage as the show reached its final climactic peak.
“The atmosphere couldn’t be described in any way other than exciting and energetic,” senior Landon Lee said.
Lee is the Sigma Tau Gamma president and one of the event organizers.
“I believe it is safe to say that UCA has a special place in Gorilla Zoe’s heart,” Lee said.
This is the second time in two years that the fraternity has invited Gorilla Zoe to perform.
“Arkansas is one of my favorite states because of the genuine Southern hospitality,” Zoe said. “It’s amazing, and the realness of the state is what gets to me.”
In 2013, Zoe performed with hip-hop legend the Ying-Yang Twins.
“When we decided he would be our headline artist, we all knew it was going to be a great event,” Lee said.
Gorilla Zoe first broke out on the scene in 2006 when he joined Boyz n da Hood.
His debut solo album “Welcome to the Zoo” ranked as high as 18th on the Billboard 200 chart in 2007.
Since then, he has had a string of hit records and songs, collaborating with several rap artists including Rich Boy, Lupe Fiasco and Lil Boosie.
Zoe and JBravo continue their tour with trips to college campuses around the country.
“I’m really excited,” JBravo said. “This tour has been good to us, and me and Zoe have been touring across the nation, but it’s great to come back to Arkansas.”
The show was made possible by the Student Government Association and was hosted by the Alpha Tau Gamma with SAFA funds. All of the proceeds will go to the Special Olympics.
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 9 2015 print edition of The Echo.