The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Growing up, I’ve always loved going to concerts and seeing my favorite artists perform live, especially since it’s an experience that leaves me completely awestruck when seeing their craft come to life. Therefore, going to J. Cole’s opening night of his The Off-Season tour was nothing short of amazing. The concert itself was hosted at the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida and the location played a key role in the night.
It was a euphoric journey from beginning to end. The first performance of the night was the artist Morray along with 21 Savage, the opening acts for J. Cole. Morray is fairly new to the entertainment and music industry, so it was interesting to watch him perform some of his music and enjoy his newfound status. Once Morray exited the stage, 21 Savage made his debut by singing many of his most popular songs from his debut album Savage Mode, and then later switched it up to some of his recent music like “Mr. Right Now” and an all-time fan-favorite “Rockstar.” Listening to 21 Savage live was ultimately a crazy experience; the entire crowd was singing along with him as if we’d all already memorized his music by heart.
Of course, I can’t forget about Druski’s appearance on stage right before J. Cole’s set. He truly is as funny in real as he is on the internet, which is rare in my opinion since most celebrity comedians aren’t that funny. Druski made it a point of making every group of people feel welcome by making a point of putting on the music of, as he put it, “white people, Latinos and Africans.” He played classics such as “Suavemente,” “A Thousand Miles,” as well as “Essence.” Each song he played was an instant hit with the crowd as everyone united and sang and danced together.
The night truly began once it was J. Cole’s moment to shine and spread his light. Once the curtain dropped, all his fans went wild. We were hyped, to say the least, to finally see the “King of Rap” share his talent and passion with us. It was nothing like I’ve ever seen before. With every song he sang, he managed to provide some words of encouragement or a funny story, and even a recount of his own life experiences with relation to his song “Close.”
He truly is the most genuine rapper in the game. He was able to connect with us all and create an experience like no other, while also telling us explanations for his individual music pieces. The performance involved plenty of joking around with the crowd; at one point he even told people who were sitting down to “stand the f**k up!!!” which caused an uproar of laughter throughout the stadium. He was gifted, a walking legend, who wrote down his experiences of joy, loss, family, fame and all its downfalls through his music.
The set and theme of his show were clever and well-thought-out. Because his tour and his recent album are called The Off-Season, he put a basketball court on the stage with the basketball ring on fire. To say it was creative would be an understatement. This man is a genius! It’s clear he poured his heart out into this concert, all from the details, lighting, production, the range in music and even the way he carried himself. It was something he was proud of and that he held close to his heart. We were in his presence and he owned it.
The cherry on top was when he brought Drake onstage. The crowd went ballistic; we were all in shock yet excited to see another legend right before our eyes. I couldn’t believe it. I have always wanted to see Drake in concert, and BOOM! I fell in love. Drake sang songs from his new album, Certified Lover Boy, when all of a sudden, Future came out on stage to sing “2 Sexy” with him. I was in awe. It was like watching the dynamic three in the rap game: J. Cole, Future and Drake all on stage, performing.
Drake gave his flowers to J. Cole and congratulated him on his accomplishments as an artist, performer, producer and now-basketball player. He’s come a long way, which Drake knew and felt it necessary to give his “brother,” which he referred to J. Cole as, the recognition and the flowers. It was breathtaking.
I never in my 20 years on Earth would have thought that I’d have the chance to experience such talent from such astonishingly gifted people. These artists have worked their way from the bottom to the top to get to where they are today. Seeing them perform live and completely sell out arenas in such big cities like Miami proves to me that these rappers, although now rich and famous, were once small-town kids wanting to pursue their passions and bring them to life. They have all earned their flowers and made it a point to remain humble but hungry for more.
As always, COLE WORLD.