As part of Coog Radio, I got the chance to go and see YBN Cordae on his first-ever tour through Houston, and I have to admit, I wish I could go back. The lost boy came to Houston and found a family in his fans.
The first thing that I feel like I should mention is that Houston was well represented by the audience. With the constant cheering and love that was shown by the crowd toward the artists on-stage, I’m confident admitting that H-town emitted enough energy to keep my phone on charge for the week. Great job, guys!
The night began with a performance by Neek da Skittz, a Houston rapper who almost had me convinced that he was just as crazy as he was talented. He did his job of hyping the crowd well and once his time was done, he retired inside the crowd with his newfound fandom. His vibe was manic, but a calculated manic, and I believe that as an opener, he was exceptional at setting the tone for the energy of the remainder of the concert.
Next up was a performance by the artist Lonr. who was surprisingly identifiable by the crowd. He was instrumental in getting the crowd to remain hype. His continuous jumping must have been infectious, because the crowd remained hyper-actively hopping in tandem chanting lyric after lyric of his catchiest tracks. In fact, the energy was so high for his performance that he decided to test the waters for a crowd surf. He took his shirt off, throwing it to the side, and lunged into an accepting crowd that waved him from one edge to the other before returning him to the stage where he finished his set by throwing merchandise and water to the group that so quickly accepted his art and mirrored his excitement.
The final performer before Cordae was a man by the name of 24kGoldn, another identifiable by the crowd. And if I’m being honest, he was my favorite supporting act. His set was as energetic as his predecessors, but it felt a bit warmer to me, as if he were not only sharing his art, but as if he were truly communing with the audience about how he feels about the world around him.
I enjoyed that out of him, even more so once he told the crowd that he dropped out of school in order to pursue a life that he would be more proud of. His eyes were full of hope that he could make it, and as soon as he shared his ambitions with the crowd, it roared with approval at the fact that he’s come far. Not only did he want us to be happy for him, but he wanted us to be happy for ourselves too; he wanted us to remember that we’re on this earth out of luck and should enjoy the little time we have here. “You were the fastest one in yo’ daddy’s sperm” he comments to his listeners. It’s not typical for rappers to have motivational speeches or uplifting talks at concerts, and I feel as if him doing so made his songs a bit more enjoyable and made his appearance a bit sweeter.
The last person to take the stage was Cordae himself. There is nothing I can say about his performance that can give it the justice that I want to. His performance began with him sitting on a stool center-stage rapping his song “Wintertime” as light bathed both sides of his face turning him a shade of gold that was nearly as beautiful as his lyricism. He knew that the crowd was more excited than he expected, and he more than happy to take us on a ride with him. The next song was a crowd favorite that put all our built-up excitement to use. With the jumping and hyping from the DJ, it was no wonder I didn’t see a single person not participating in some capacity. Cordae has a nice stage presence in my opinion; It was sort of like watching your favorite cousin get on stage and absolutely rock the performance (In fact, his energy was so familiar that I had the funny idea that someone in the audience was going to randomly scream “that’s my dawg up there, yall!”).
Naturally, he did a rendition of the song that got him on the radar (“Old N*ggas“), and the crowd ate it up, rapping every line alongside him with a surgeon’s precision. His final song was “RNP” which had lyrics split between Cordae and Anderson .Paak who was not present. So naturally he asked the audience for a little help to spit Paak’s verse.
Through a swift selection process, a member was invited on-stage where he and Cordae bounced around the track as if they had made it together. The exchange was so fluid that Cordae had to reward the member with some merchandise for their part in it. The night concluded with Cordae giving thanks to the people who came on the tour with him and shouting out the members of his family who helped him to get where he was.
The one thing I was disappointed in was that he did not make room for an encore. As good of an artist as he is, I was more than certain that he was going to bless his audience with a final song or maybe even a few lines from a song in the making to make us feel a final appreciation, but I was let down in that regard.