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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

IN PHOTOS: Ashnikko left the crowd dead on her “Weedkiller Tour”

Ashnikko, dubbed “Nashnikko” for the day, brought her alternative dystopian reality to town.
Urmika Nandwani
Ashnikko puts on a gripping performance for fans in Marathon Music Works, Nashville, as captured on Oct. 11, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Urmika Nandwani)

Walking through the doors of Marathon Music Works, the crowd buzzed with excitement, and the blue back-light stage was enticing and taunting. Electronic dance music played as everyone (im)patiently waited for Ashnikko. Even if you haven’t heard her name before, you’ve probably heard her music — snippets of her songs have gone viral on TikTok over the past few years.

Finally, something happened. The lights shifted from bright blue to a deep red, music started up and the opener, Tommy Genius — a Canadian hip-hop artist whose name you might recognize if you listen to Charli XCX or Lana Del Ray —  walked out. Her head was down as she hummed along to her first song. Once she reached the microphone stand she started singing. She scanned the barricade in a seductive manner and fed off the energy in the room. The audience reacted to her as if she were the main act. Her stage presence was impeccable, her enthusiasm was evident and her confidence was contagious. My favorite quote from one of her hit songs was, “a woman is a god”. 

Once Genius exited, I had another chance to examine the stage. Behind the thick layer of fog, there were inflatable decorations — looking like a cross between evil vines and trees — to add to the alternative vibe. 

While everyone, again, (im)patiently waited, two very enthusiastic fans offered my friend and me glitter face paint to put on our cheeks. 

The easily excitable crowd also cheered each time a stage worker crossed the stage. At one point, when a stage worker retaped the set list the audience chanted, “tape!” As the time neared 9:30 p.m. CDT, the fans chanted for Ashnikko to come out, and the energy rose even more. 

At least, the stage again went dark and music started. Everyone’s cheers crescendoed with the music, the lights strobed and Ashnikko and her dancers entered. I could tell Ashnikko knew the effect she had on the crowd. Following her first song, “You Make Me Sick!,” she transitioned straight into “STUPID”, but the music cut off. Teasing the crowd even more after the long wait, she and her dancers walked around, acting confused, but the audience loved the act, meeting it with screams until the music started again. 

Throughout the set, I couldn’t help but notice that Ashnikko and her dancers were so insanely in sync with each other. Just the two women were enough to match her lively, passionate set. Ashnikko was constantly moving, both dancing with her dancers and across the stage. The trio appeared so confident in themselves and their womanhood. I was mesmerized by all of their energy and swore I could feel it passing through the floorboards into the crowd.

Ashnikko poses for the fans, as captured on Oct. 11, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Urmika Nandwani) (Urmika Nandwani)

Ashnikko’s music, a cultivation of punk and hip-hop, also mixed in a fast, upbeat rhythm with energy similar to rap. Her lyrics are sexually explicit, with constant sexual innuendos.  They imply that she wouldn’t lower her standards in her dating life. To me, her songs were empowering, and I walked away more confident in myself. 

Ashnikko is a perfect example that women do not need to fit in one, stereotypical box. Any college girl who is looking to be more in tune with her body and her femininity should give Ashnikko a listen. The risque style of her music, as well as her prominent figure as a woman in music, is the perfect combination of a fearless and confident mindset.

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About the Contributors
Kailey Aldrich
Kailey Aldrich, Staff Writer
Kailey Aldrich (‘27) is from Olmsted Township, Ohio, and studies biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering. She is a Life staff writer interested in anything and everything, but she loves creative writing. She is great at relaxing and having fun with her friends instead of studying. You can reach her at [email protected].
Urmika Nandwani
Urmika Nandwani, Staff Photographer
Urmika Nandwani (‘26) is from South Jordan, Utah and studies biology and anthropology in the College of Arts and Science. When not taking pictures for The Hustler, she can be found cozied up with a good book or out and about on a run. She can be reached at [email protected].
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