U of I alumni looking to make new tradition with ‘Illini Anthem’


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – A Champaign based rapper and a former Illini have teamed up to show they are loyal to the blue and orange.

Last December, the UIUC chancellor sent an email looking for new traditions and new ways to celebrate U of I athletic programs and school spirit.

Lamont Holden, assistant professor of music audio and recording technology, knew he could help and already had some ideas.

That’s when he teamed up with Jarrel Young. Holden had the beat, Young added the words, and together they made the Illini Anthem.

The song takes traditions, like the marching band, and mixes it with modern-day hip-hop and rap.

They hope it will bring people of all backgrounds together.

“If we do this the right way, the city will unite in a way we’ve never seen,” Holden said.

“It really touches home with me, and it really comes from a very true and sincere place in my heart,” Young said.

They’ve even partnered with Barry Houser, the Marching Illini Director. Now, the song is gaining a lot of traction with people and organizations on campus.

The plan is to perform the track at U of I freshman orientation, August 19th, and the football home opener against Nebraska. But for the group, that’s only the start.

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