Otis Julius to make pit stop in Mankato

Like a blast from the past, Otis Julius, partnered with Nice Enough Entertainment, is bringing his larger-than-life “Totally Rad 90’s Party Tour” to small town Mankato on March 2. Julius is headlining the event alongside DJ Strawstone to bring locals a rad night complete with live music, special guests, prizes, visuals and covers of everyone’s favorite 90s hits.

Julius is a hip-hop, punk rock artist, and while he’s originally from Idaho, his music has taken him across the country and world. From concert venues in Western Canada to festival stages in Indonesia, Julius has spread his music worldwide, all on his own dime.

The interest in music started for Julius in 2005, when he attended his first Warped Tour, his first ever “real” concert. It was at this concert where the music bug bit him. Hard. 

“It blew my mind,” Julius said. I didn’t know this whole culture existed, and it just kind of sucked me in. I was like, ‘Wow, I’ve been totally missing this my whole life.’ It’s been part of my identity, part of who I am, ever since then.” 

At the Warped Tour, Julius saw the punk band Emery playing on stage. The band’s loud guitar and booming bass drums played right into his soul, he said, and became one of his main inspirations to start music. 

While Julius has strayed from punk and focuses now more on hip-hop, Emery remains one of his biggest influences, alongside Eminem and 50 Cent. 

“I accidentally saw (Emery) at Warped Tour, and they’re my all-time favorite band now,” he said. “I’ve seen them probably 18, 19 times. I was like, ‘I don’t know where this has been in my life, but I need this.’ They’re what got me into being in my first band.”

This is Julius’s first time playing in Mankato. According to one of Julius’s openers, GunnerB, locals should consider going to this concert because it’s something unheard of for the town.

“It’s something completely different for Mankato. There’s a lot of things that go on there, but this is a 90s hip-hop tour. This is something that doesn’t happen a lot, people don’t really tour and hit Mankato. It’s something different for the area,” GunnerB said.

GunnerB is a musician from Worthington who started and grew his career as a rapper in Sioux Falls. His choice to perform in the Mankato tour date is to help in growing his music career. 

I feel like (Mankato) is a really big market. And I feel like if you make enough noise in Mankato, you can do something in the (Twin Cities),” GunnerB said.

Despite the plans to grow his career by pushing toward big cities, GunnerB’s main goal is to bring the big scene back to the small towns.

“My goal is to bring people out to Mankato and build a scene out there that hasn’t been there for 20 years now. I remember being very young and hearing about a lot of artists coming out from there, so I want to do that,” GunnerB said.

Other local artists performing at the concert include DJ YuWish and Flow Fanatic, both local Minnesota artists.

Tickets for the concert are on sale now, available for purchase online or at the door, for $15 a piece. The concert is on Thursday, March 2, at the What’s Up Lounge in Mankato.

Photos Courtesy of  Gunner Beckering

Write to Joey Erickson at joseph.erickson.2@mnsu.edu

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