Wednesday’s Owl Prowl concert becomes the First Church of T-Pain, featuring Jay Sean

Jay Sean may have been given top billing for Owl Prowl, but the crowd says T-Pain stole the show.


Jay Sean performs many of his old hit songs such as “Down” and “Do You Remember.” He also sang his newly released song “Tears in the Ocean.” [ Max Jackson | Photo Editor ]

T-Pain spoke to a rapt audience like a preacher at Sunday mass.

“We are gathered here today,” said T-Pain, kneeling, “To celebrate the life of a great man, an admirable man…I’m only talking about T-Pain.”


Wednesday’s Owl Prowl flyers advertised a concert headlined by Jay Sean, but T-Pain’s performance was more akin to a Christian revival than a hip-hop concert.

Students were allowed into the Student Union outdoor stage at 7 p.m., but the opening act did not appear until a couple hours later.

Dj Skribble opens for Jay Sean and T-Pain at FAU’s annual Homecoming concert the Owl Prowl, on Wednesday Oct. 29.  [ Max Jackson | Photo Editor ]
Dj Skribble opens for Jay Sean and T-Pain at FAU’s annual Owl Prowl Homecoming concert on Wednesday Oct. 29. [ Max Jackson | Photo Editor ]

DJ Skribble’s set moved from Biggie to KRS One and Tupac while the crowd lingered around the field, with one group forming a douggie circle as they waited for the concert to begin.

Dequan Reeler, an exercise science major in the circle, was there for one reason only: T-Pain.

“I don’t care about Jay Sean. He ain’t really famous to me and I want to hear T-Pain’s old shit.”

When Skribble probed the crowd, asking, “Y’all want more?” they, in unison, replied “NO!” but their rejection fell on deaf ears as Skribble went on to play DMX.

At around 9:15, two hours after the outdoor stage had opened, Skribble asked the crowd if they were ready for Jay Sean and a voice from the crowd replied “Play fucking Jay Sean already.”

Jay Sean walked on the stage wearing sunglasses, a black vest and fitted shirt. Surrounded by two dancers, he was greeted with shrieks and applause as his song “Hit the Lights” began playing.

Jay Sean enters the stage and starts to  [ Mohammed F Emran | Web Editor ]
Jay Sean greets the crowd as he enters the stage at the Owl Prowl concert.
[ Mohammed F Emran | Web Editor ]

Noting the lukewarm response from the audience, Jay Sean remarked “If you don’t know my songs, it’s all good cause you will tonight.”

The crowd swayed and bumped to the music, still mostly scattered.

Groups strayed along the grassy field with some  far from the main stage, listening to Jay Sean with arms folded and staring motionless at the performer. “We’re waiting for T-Pain,” said Melissa Keogh, a criminal justice major. “He’s better.”

After an hour set and a 15-minute intermission, T-Pain rushed to the stage with his hypeman, T-Pain, both men wearing red Owl Prowl shirts.

Music pierced the hushed intermission while T-Pain began breakdancing and stomping across the stage, spinning the microphone with one hand while he pointed to his followers with the other.

The crowd was finally drawn in from across the field and rushed closer to the reverend as he bounced around the stage and shouted his lyrics into the crowd.

He mesmerized the crowd. Students responded by flashing their phones, snapchatting and recording the rapper-turned-bishop.


As he finished the oration, “Church” began playing and the entire audience-turned-congregation rapped along with an auto-tuneless T-Pain as he danced in synchronization with his hypeman.

“He brought life to this thing,” yelled Graham Brown, a biology major.

The message of the sermon was simple: “We got to enjoy the moment, especially you motherfuckers with the Samsungs and iPhone 6s. Stop pulling big screens out your pockets.”

T-Pain shows off his dance moves during the Owl Prowl concert.
[ Mohammed F Emran | Web Editor ]

T-Pain danced, moonwalked and jumped, only resting to  kneel and address the congregation, who  followed his every movement in unison.

When “Up Down” played, the arms of the congregation followed the song’s command. T-Pain guided a section to harmonize, and so they did.

Owl Prowl concert featuring Jay Sean and T-Pain, Oct. 29, is about to start.
Owl Prowl concert featuring Jay Sean and T-Pain, Oct. 29, is about to start. [ Anastasia Kovtunenko | Contributing Photographer ]

An hour in, the congregation called out their support, urging the psalms to continue, “You can do it, you can do it, you can do it.”  T-Pain kneeled again, “Ya’ll really wanna keep going? Holy shit.”

The sermon continued with T-Pain playing his “Royals” Remix and “I’m in Love with a Stripper.” He never stood still, his hips in constant motion — thrusting and popping his booty.

At midnight, T-Pain thanked the congregation, took a bow and gently laid down the microphone. As quickly as he appeared, he was gone.

“I can’t talk right now…I just went too hard,” said Brielle Murch, a commercial music major, while catching her breath.