Students fired up for Spark in the Park


Spark in the Park — UIC’s exclusive music festival — has sparked excitement around campus with this year’s headliner and special guest, rappers J. Cole and Bas.

Spark in the Park, a free event for all UIC students and employees with a valid i-card only, moves to the UIC Pavilion this year, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The show is scheduled to run from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., with Bas opening for Grammy Award-nominated Cole.

“He’s one of the most sought-after rap lyricists and has great respect in that field,” said senior Saleha Amreen. “I think a lot more people will go this year because he’s amazing.”

The show usually takes place at Harrison Field but with the Circle Interchange construction, it moves indoors this year.

“After the opener and headliner were announced, I didn’t even care about the relocation,” said sophomore Jonny Rodriguez. “I was too excited about seeing Cole live.”

Cole, a North Carolina native, earned his first Grammy nomination in 2012 after the release of his debut album, “Cole World: The Sideline Story.” His second LP, “Born Sinner,” rose to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Rap charts in just three weeks. He was nominated for a second Grammy this year for Best Rap Collaboration for his song “Power Trip,” featuring Miguel.

Bas, a New York rapper who released “Last Winter” in April, has collaborated with Cole on songs like “New York Times” and “Hell’s Kitchen.” He was the first artist signed to Cole’s label, Dreamville/Interscope Records.

“I know they’ve worked together,” said junior Julia Garcia, “and I know that this show is going to be great because of that.”

Follow Spark in the Park and Campus Programs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@uiccampusprgrms) for a chance to win giveaways.

Students attending Spark in the Park can document their experience as part of the UIC Experience Program.

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