A common complaint amongst listeners, detractors and movie lovers is that it can be tricky to interpret what happens onto the stagein bigger places. Audio engineering, an over-reliance on prerecorded tracks and an excess of play a role. Everything about J. Cole’s KOD Tour stop in the Pepsi Center last night demonstrated that if actors can escape the above snares, hip-hop displays may be not only compelling but really sensational. From the minute Earthgang hit the stage, through Jaden Smith’s high performance performance and certainly through the headliner’s inspiring place the series was a masterclass in what a concert ought to be. The only thing missing was Young Thug.
Several days ago it had been reported that the rapper born Jeffery Lamar Williams (Young Thug) had been charged with eight felonies — largely drug-related offenses. Since he had not yet turned himself — which he seemed to have done today — some fans were hopeful that the crimes wouldn’t influence his ability to perform. Supporters were advised of the terrible news that the night of the series, and while others were frustrated, the strong line-up managed to flourish regardless of Thug’s lack. The two Earthgang and Smith shouted the man from, with supporters shouting Thug” in solidarity with their hero that was incarcerated. His time slot stayed vacant, together with J. Cole only starting only about ten minutes sooner than his allotted time. Thug’s nonattendance was unfortunate with the almost 40-minute set break which makes the unavailability more glaring.
Next up was Smith. The currently 20-year old pup of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith leaped to the stage clad in expensive street-wear and a bullet-proof vest that was fashion-conscious. He played with hits from his record Syre, doing so with a self-assurance that indicated his growth as an artist and as a man. It seemed that the child is getting a bass in his voice he shouted and roared with rockstar certainty. His parents obviously cast a massive shadow, but his set proved that he could be over a Hollywood baby position. Charm and his creativity made his content that was unrelatable seem suitable. While his view may be markedly different from the majority of ours, his own optimism and energy were constructed for the stadium.