|Photo by: Provided|
Friday night, I let the party get the best of me.
Wiz Khalifa took the court...er...stage at Ohio University’s Convocation Center Friday night for a sold out concert sponsored by Ohio University.
Hip-hop and R&B artist Sean Kingston opened for the Prince of Pittsburgh. The Jamaican-American singer hyped the crowd with his hits--a term used loosely in this reference--“Beautiful Girls” and “Replay.”
Unfortunately, Kingston lost almost the entire crowd after loudly asking, “What up, Ohio State?!”
Ohio University students absolutely hate when people forget about our little school in Athens, and assume every college student in the Buckeye State is a Buckeye. Mr. Kingston learned this the hard way.
Boos echoed throughout the stadium, and chants calling for the headliner overpowered much of his next song.
However, he quickly apologized by saying, “I’m sorry, ya’ll, I’m high as [expletive]. I don’t even know where I am.”
He continued, winning back some of the crowd saying, “Ohio University, you know I [expletive] with you!”
After a relatively uneventful six or seven song set, Kingston left the stage and the stadium darkened as anticipation for Wiz Khalifa mounted.
Police escorted several concertgoers to exits after trying to light some sort of "hand-rolled cigarette" while waiting for the rapper. The stadium reeked of Wiz Khalifa’s favorite herbal medication as the anxious crowd continued to wait.
Finally, after more than a half an hour of waiting--that's called "making 'em sweat" in the biz--Wiz’s distinct laugh boomed over the stadium’s loud-speaker followed by the opening line of his latest single “When I’m Gone.”
The crowd went absolutely wild, screaming the lyrics along with Wiz. He introduced himself after the opening song, asking if Athens was ready for a party. Apparently, Mr. Khalifa doesn't read the Princeton Review party school rankings, but that's a different story.
He continued the concert with “Mary 3X” and “Nameless” off his latest mixtape Taylor Allderdice, named after the high school in Pittsburgh where he first started gaining popularity, along with “Waken Baken” and “In the Cut” off his ridiculously popular 2010 mixtape Kush & Orange Juice.
However, fans were most familiar with tracks from Wiz’s first studio album Rolling Papers, which he released through Atlantic Records in 2011.
Taking a quick break from the music, Wiz led the crowd in a “When I say T-G, you say O-D” chant, paying homage to his group of close friend nicknamed “Taylor Gang.”
“T.G.O.D.” stands for “Taylor Gang or Die.” The exclusive group isn’t named after Wiz’s high school, or after his near-obsession with Chuck Taylor’s Converse sneakers. Rather, as Wiz explained to the crowd, anyone who lives life the way he or she wants and lives out his or her dreams is a “Taylor.”
Chevy Woods, another aspiring rapper from Pittsburgh and a member of Wiz’s Taylor Gang, took a few bars to showcase his rhymes, and the drummer from Wiz’s live band, aptly named “The Kush and Orange Juice Band,” played a tight drum solo, showing rap can indeed rock.
Wiz seemed genuinely impressed by the crowd, saying, “Ya’ll [expletive] is crazy. Nuts. I’m gonna tell everyone about ya’ll,” before his signature finish.
Before going into his final song, Wiz said simply, “Shout out, Pittsburgh,” erasing any doubt of what was to come next.
The opening notes of Wiz’s hit single “Black and Yellow,” a tribute to his hometown and the six-time Superbowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, brought everyone at the show to their feet.
Wiz changed up the format of the song a bit, inserting a heavy electric guitar for the final verse and chorus of the song, sending the crowd into another frenzy.
After finishing, the stage went dark except for a lone spotlight shining on Wiz.
“Wait, ya’ll want one more?” he said with a laugh.
A “one more, one more” chant slowly grew into a stadium-wide effort, compelling the rapper to perform one final song for the crowd.
Wiz happily played an encore, another song off his latest Taylor Allderdice mixtape, bringing concert-goers on stage and thanking the crowd one final time before calling it a concert.
The only downside of Wiz’s show was that it was so short. He played for only about an hour, leaving out some of his early hits and even some newer singles.
Regardless, it was well worth the ticket price to a see a budding superstar stop in the small college before leaving the United States for concerts in India and Lebanon next week, a far cry from Athens, Ohio.
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