In a response to a prompt from the University of Illinois Chancellor to bring new traditions to the college, professor Lamont Holden teamed up with local rapper Jarrel Young to create a new fight song, “Illini Anthem.”
The aim of the song is to take already established traditions — like the marching band fight songs — and mix them with new influences such as hip hop and rap to create a more inclusive and up to date fight song, and bring people together in the process.
The track made its official debut last night, August 19th, with a performance from Holden and Young at Memorial Stadium for the new freshman class to hear. The song will be performed at the first football game of the season on August 28th, as well, but the duo hopes that the track becomes a regular at the university.
You can listen to the song’s premier on WILL AM’s The 21st Show.
Top image from Marching Illini’s Facebook page.