2 Chainz started a riot (in a good way) in Valdosta last Friday.
The College Park rapper took over the Complex at Valdosta State University for the school’s spring concert. VSU interim president, Dr. Cecil Staton said that the decision to book 2 Chainz was all about the students.
“Valdosta State is committed to providing a great campus experience for our students,” Staton said. “We look forward to a new tradition of bringing significant artists to campus that our students will enjoy.”
2 Chainz, who just released his third album, is the largest name to be a part of VSU’s spring concert series in the past couple of years as Tifton-born country singer Kip Moore, internet sensation SoMo and Sevyn Streeter have been the most recent performers.
People started lining up for the concert at about 4 pm, and a pre-concert party DJ set was hosted by local hip hop radio station 107.9 the Beat. At about 8 pm the show started with some local rappers from VSU who got the crowd buzzing with just a small taste of the night ahead.
It wasn’t long before Kontraband Music from Atlanta took the stage as the final opener before 2 Chainz, but the antsy crowd didn’t respond too well to the local band. While their pop-inspired sound proved to be an outlier in the midst of a hip hop lineup, it’s likely that the drop in the crowd’s energy was caused by the ongoing wait for 2 Chainz to hit the stage and not necessarily a resounding sign of disapproval.
Fortunately, however, the wait was finally over around 10 pm when the “Watch Out” rapper gave the anxious student body what they had long been waiting for.
2 Chainz thrashed through his verse on Drake’s “All Me” before addressing the Valdosta crowd and then surging through his verse on K Camp’s “Cut Her Off.”
After taking the crowd on a bit of a trip down 2 Chainz memory lane, he completely switched gears with a performance of “MFN Right,” a Mike Will Made It-produced single from his joint album with Lil Wayne titled Collegrove.
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Because of ticket prices that were a little higher than normal, rumors had been circulating weeks before that he might bring Lil Wayne out on stage at the concert. 2 Chainz playfully dismissed the rumor by saying that Lil Wayne couldn’t be there because he “was doing his own thing.” After a groan from the audience he joked that the university isn’t paying Lil Wayne, but they are paying him.
Later in the show 2 Chainz took the crowd even further into the past, to 2005 to be exact, when he went by Tity Boi and was a member of the duo Playaz Circle, with a performance of “Duffle Bag Boy.” He then took the crowd back to the beginning of the 2 Chainz era when he performed “Spend It.” The audience of mostly 18 to 22 year olds responded well to the throwbacks.
2 Chainz also did the hits from his first album under the 2 Chainz moniker, Based on a Tru Story, including “No Lie,” “Birthday Song” and “I’m Different.”
His last performance of the night was his hit single “Watch Out,” and before leaving the stage, he gave a shout out to the recently deceased Atlanta rapper Bankroll Fresh.
The 38-year-old MC commanded the stage with the energy of a rapper half his age but with the experience of a rapper that had been in the game since 1997. He gave the crowd exactly what they wanted: a high-energy performance of older hits and new bangers, and he didn’t hold anything back.
2 Chainz was charismatic on stage. He danced and told jokes in between songs much to the audience’s liking.
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Aubrey Justice, who drove about an hour and a half to see 2 Chainz from Pelham, Georgia, said that he liked 2 Chainz’ intensity on stage.
“I liked how he was very energetic and still put on a great show even though it wasn’t a packed out arena or large civic center like he’s used to playing,” Justice said. “He can really bring a beat to life with his aggressive hooks and verses.”
Mike Bosworth, a sophomore at VSU, said that he was pleased with the location and the intimacy of the concert.
“I liked the fact that the concert was at the Complex and that the floor was open to the students,” Bosworth said.
President Staton said that the concert was going to be a measuring stick for student interest in the spring concert. He said that if students buy tickets and go to the concert and have a good time then the university will do more to bring other artists to campus.
It looks like more concerts are on the way, courtesy of 2 Chainz.