Someone from 21 Savage‘s crew started walking down the line of people announcing something, and once he came with in earshot I heard, “His tour bus broke down, they’re trying to fly him in right now.” I’d driven a decent distance for this show and my heart sank at the prospect of having to turn around and drive right back. This was at 6:50, with doors intent on opening at 7. It wasn’t until 7:30 came around that the doors did finally open you could feel the attendees’ relief, as many worried conversations had occurred during the delay.
The Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon has a great setup, the entire theater being general admission with 21 and over allowed to go up to the balcony and bar. Tonight it was playing host to the 12th stop on 21 Savage’s Issa Tour, presented by the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour series, which has also featured artists like Post Malone, Logic, and that one guy Kendrick Lamar. Local Portland DJ Lord Rockwell was on deck, taking song suggestions from the crowd and mixing them with his tracks of his own choosing, which more often than not worked out great and helped get the crowd going. The show was supposed to start at 8 but the delay pushed it back to 8:30, as I was informed by theater staff. Lord Rockwell deserves praise for facing this adversity and keeping the atmosphere hyped enough. When the opener’s DJ came out the crowd began to cheer and you could tell everyone was just ready to see someone perform.
Tee Grizzley rode this feeling to perfection, moving around the stage and rapping his ass off. He also got some help from 42 Twinz, though you could tell it was still Tee’s show. The crowd was into him too; I mean, this guy is a potential 2017 XXL Freshman and has blown up in just the past year. Silence swept over the crowd when the DJ dropped the beat and Tee started spitting an acapella verse, to which the crowd went absolutely wild after the last bar. Tee Grizzley had so much energy to give to the crowd, and it was very unfortunate when his set ended after only 20 minutes.
— True Too (@TrueTooBlog) April 16, 2017
Rockwell came back for a brief interlude, and then collaborated with Young M.A‘s DJ to drop Drake‘s “Portland” right before she came out (I mean, c’mon, it was going to happen at some point). The swagger with which M.A carried herself onstage set the tone right away. She is a bonafide G who loves her Hennessy. Her grill glistened as she spit bar after bar and you could tell she was enjoying herself, as most songs ended with a big grin. About three-quarters of the way through her set she announced, “Who want’s to hear some new shit?” The following song was some absolute heat, and although she only did a verse I could tell it’s going to be her next big banger. M.A then launched into an empowering speech on sexuality which the Portland crowd ate up, many raising their arms up prayer emoji style. Young M.A has been dropping her signature ad-lib her whole set, but when she finally finished up with her hit track “ooouuu” the crowd was more than happy to sing along.
— True Too (@TrueTooBlog) April 16, 2017
At this point whenever there was a somewhat silent moment someone would start a 21 chant, perhaps still worried he hadn’t made it. In fact, some random rapper, presumably from his crew, came out and did a quick three songs when it obviously should have been 21 to come out, and there was another break after. When the lights dropped the crowd got louder than the bass had been all night, and 21 Savage made his grand entrance. He put on a good show, moving about and spitting his bars with some heat. It wasn’t until about 5 songs in that he let the crowd know he was a little under the weather, probably a result of the tour stress mixed with the breakdown earlier in the day. He did a couple more songs before leaving the stage to his hype man and DJ.
They had large shoes to fill, but did so by dropping Top 100 hit after Top 100 hit, getting the crowd to chant things like “Free Bobby” and “Free Kodak,” forming a mosh pit, and topping it off with the obvious “Bad and Boujee.” The crowd ate this up though, and the break did Savage well as he came back out to do his bangers like “X” and of course “No Heart.” 21 then thanked the crowd and made his exit, leaving his hype man and Lord Rockwell to toss waters to the crowd.
Monsters had definitely been passed around to all the artists before their sets, as other than 21’s brief lack of energy, the show was lit from start to finish; even the DJ sets had people going. Obviously everyone knows 21 and is looking forward to his Issa Album, which drops later this year, but Tee Grizzley and Young M.A definitely deserve to stay on your radar as well. If you get a chance to catch any of the remaining dates on this tour, which can be found here, don’t hesitate. Thanks again to Monster Energy, 21 Savage, Young M.A, Tee Grizzley, and Lord Rockwell (and their crews) for putting on a great show. For all things hip hop stay tuned to True Too and look out for more concert coverage in the future.