Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, and Taylor Gang Smoke Out the University of Miami, December 1
Wiz Khalifa 2050 Tour
With Juicy J, Chevy Woods, Lola Monroe, Tuki Carter, and Berner
BankUnited Center, Miami
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Better Than: Ridin' slow through your hood puffin' on endo, bumpin' Wiz in the trunk.
Rap game Steven Tyler.
That's the first thing that came to mind as we watched Wiz Khalifa sing and writhe against his microphone stand, scarves billowing in simulated gusts of wind.
The second thing was simply, "Why is this show on UM campus? Why are there cops everywhere? How a bitch supposed to get her smoke on with this heat?"
It was terribly ironic, really. Wiz and his Taylor Gang make no attempt to hide their infatuation with the sticky-icky. Then go ahead and add the legendarily geeked-up Juicy J to the bill, and you've got yourself a certified freaky function. By all accounts, everyone in that audience should have been lifted out of their minds.
But just getting into the campus venue was a mission and a half. The show started at 8 p.m., and by the time we got through security 40 minutes later, Juicy J was already on stage and working through his current strip-hop anthem "Bandz A Make Her Dance."
A giant inflatable bong adorned the center of the stage, while there were about three cops at every arena entrance. They couldn't stop the smoke from filling the air, but they could flash their penlights in everyone's face, and they did snatch up quite a number of young people before the end of the night.
But 5-0 be damned, Juicy was gettin' it in up there, and bless his heart, he knew what everyone really wanted to hear.
"Before Juicy J was Juicy J, what was the name of the hype group I was a part of?"
"Three 6 Mafia!" everyone screamed. He made them say it again and again before he finally kicked into a collage of classics, rippin' into a bit of "Poppin' My Collar" and "Sippin' On Some Sizzurp." It was kind of a cock tease though, because he mostly just ran around screaming to the choruses and didn't really go in hard on any verses. Not that the crowd seemed to mind.
"All you pill poppers repeat after me," he said into the mic as cops searched the crowd's faces. "I'm geeked up on them bars! I'm geeked up on them bars!"
He continued to rip-roar through a furious line of hits about having ratchet sex and doing as many drugs as possible. He gave a special shout out to the stoners who play Play Station 3 and Xbox like he was banking endorsement checks. He dropped some more Three 6 and climbed a ladder to rap on top of the giant bong.
"I love all you mofuckers," he said before exiting the stage. "Stay trippy mane."
There was a short intermission for people to reup drinks and empty bladders. Of course, Khalifa hit the crowd hard as soon as he took the stage. He opened his set with his breakthrough chart-topper "Black and Yellow," making sure the crowd would be hype from the get-go.
Khalifa was joined on stage by a two-man band, rockin' out on synths and drums, providing the production essentials with a live edge. It being the 2050 tour, the lighting game was over 9,000. There were tons of lasers and strobes flashing off in every direction.
Meanwhile, Wiz took his act all over the stage, playing both sides to keep the vibe up. When he wasn't running around crazy, he held down the front spitting funky-fire into the mic, sometimes dancing around like he was some kind of '70s rock singer.
He slowed it down a bit for the ladies, crooning an ode to marijuana, then picked it back up as Juicy J came out for some collabo face time. Chevy Woods, Lola Monroe and the rest of the Taylor Gang soon followed, holding down the stage 10-deep. A guy in a lighter costume and another dressed as a giant joint stood on either side of them, for complete suspension of reality.
The stage cleared and he took it down a notch, playing some sexy shit for the ladies and giving the crowd time to breathe. Wiz Khalifa is at his best when he has his jazzy moments. His voice and flow are quite clean and his delivery shines when he turns it down.
But he kept it mad hyphy because college kids like to party, and we were on a college campus after all. His boys came out for one more Taylor Gang-bang, and later, gave the kids a good and proper pep talk about "don't let no motherfucker tell you what you can't do."
"You could be better than me, real talk," he told the crowd.
He ended the night on a super-high party level. He told us a story about drinking Bombay and smoking like, 47 joints all at once as he got ready for the Miami stage. He ended with a bunch of live tracks, dropping "On My Level," "No Sleep" and "Work Hard, Play Hard" before running off stage into the darkness.
The lights came up almost immediately as some guy announced the official after party going down at Cameo. People just accepted there would be no encore as they made their way slowly towards the doors.
It felt strange leaving the party at 10:45 p.m., but that's what happens when you party on campus.
Personal Bias: Geeked-up hip hop shows should not occur on private campuses.
The Crowd: A good mix of everyone, including odd pubescent boys, hard-ass bros, bored-looking rich hipsters, college bros, homies, hoes, and two rockabilly chicks.
Wiz Khalifa Setlist:
-"Black And Yellow"
-"Tweak Is Heavy"
-"Wild and Free"
-"Ink My Whole Body"
-"Hopes and Dreams"
-"On My Level"
-"Work Hard, Play Hard"
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