Hundreds of UNC students chanted rapper Flo Milli’s name under the hazy purple-lit glow of the Carmichael Arena stage.
In a green top with matching eyeliner, Flo Milli stood with her microphone.
She was the headliner for Jubilee 2022 on Saturday — the University’s biggest concert hosted by the Carolina Union Activities Board. It was first time the event has been held in-person since 2019, and students had the opportunity to vote on their preferred performer and genre.
Ta’Mecha Robinson, a junior who attended the concert, said that awaiting Flo Milli’s arrival was her favorite part of the evening.
The show was advertised to start at 7 p.m., Robinson said, but it didn’t start for about an hour. The anticipation was fun, she said.
One of Robinson’s favorite songs from the concert was “Back Pack (Flora the Explorer).” The song is inspired by the childhood show, "Dora the Explorer."
“We’re the same age and it was really fun seeing how someone else my age can take something as simple as Dora the Explorer and make it into a really good song,” she said.
Kalei Small, a junior who is a fan of Flo Milli’s, said she learned of her music through the social media app TikTok. Small said she hadn’t been to a concert since she was in high school and loved seeing Flo Milli perform.
“It was super exciting to go back to that atmosphere,” she said. “I think everyone, you could tell, really enjoyed having that aspect back on campus.”
Camila Moreno-Lizarazo, a junior who has been a fan of Flo Milli since early in her career, was also at the show. She said that as soon as CUAB announced the Jubilee, she and her friends quickly bought tickets.
When the show happened to fall on the night of Moreno-Lizarazo’s 21st birthday, she said she was determined to get Flo Milli to acknowledge her.
“We had a mission as soon as she announced she was coming the day of my birthday," Moreno-Lizarazo said. "We knew that we needed to make a sign, we needed to get her attention."
Referencing the song “May I,” Moreno-Lizarazo's sign read: “‘May I’ get a Happy Birthday.” When Flo Milli noticed the sign, she stopped to sing happy birthday, and the people around Moreno-Lizarazo began to take videos of the moment.
Moreno-Lizarazo was shocked.
“It was crazy," she said. "I literally cannot believe that that actually happened. All of my friends started filming, too.”
At the Jubilee, students sang along to the artist’s biggest hits including “PBC” and “19.” They also got to hear a sneak peek of “Hottie,” an unreleased song that will be on Flo Milli’s upcoming album.
Throughout the night, the artist interacted with other students by grabbing their cellphones and taking videos. And during her last song, “In the Party," Flo Milli joined them in the audience to dance and take pictures.
This live, in-person experience is something students have missed over the past few years, Robinson said.
“I was really excited," she said. "I really felt like I was missing out on something and finally got it back."
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.