By Jared Allen
May 7, 2017
21 Savage once openly labeled his style of rap as “murder music,” and his dramatic entrance at the Fillmore Charlotte portrayed just that. The overhead lights dimmed and a flickering red glow in the cabin window of the Atlanta rapper’s stage prop caught the audience’s attention. The anticipation grew and before too long, 21 Savage slowly creeped through the cabin door wielding a 16-inch machete and wearing a Friday the 13th mask. The renowned horror film aesthetic portrayed the rapper’s style impeccably – and added some much needed flair to a show that had been lacking such for the previous two hours.
The Monster Energy Outbreak Tour presents introduces artists to a national audience through a month-long tour, presently titled “Issa Tour,” paying homage to the internet meme. Booming artists Tee Grizzley and Young M.A. joined 21 Savage on the road and offered an unrivaled energy on the given night.
While both artists boast a larger listener base than the majority of acts that regularly roll through the Fillmore Charlotte, Tee Grizzley and Young M.A. showed spunk – as if they thoroughly enjoyed performing in front of hundreds of fans. Grizzley cruised through a short set list consisting of his most known songs, “First Day Out” and “From The D To The A.” The crowd bopped their heads to the beat and lined up to meet the young rapper at his merch table following his performance.
Young M.A offered much of the same. The Brooklyn-born rapper appeared eager to prove she was more than just a one hit wonder with “OOOUUU.” While she did perform the crowd pleaser, the New Yorker introduced the audience to a few lesser known tracks and rapped a capella, reminiscent of the NY style and flow.
Despite the opening rappers’ zeal, the audience ultimately craved 21 Savage. Once he entered the spotlight through his cabin door, he paced the stage while stirring up the crowd with “Red Opps.” He teased the crowd, not only with his movement – reaching out into the pit – but also with his stage presence, literally. 21 Savage didn’t spend much time on stage before he disappeared to back, once more, letting the DJ take over. Roughly 15 minutes passed before the rapper returned wearing a new t-shirt that accentuated the bling that hung from his neck.
His Slaughter Gang crew joined him in the forefront and bounced around to both “No Heart” and “X,” which drew the biggest applause and rap-along of the night. The hit songs presented 21 Savage with a chance to steal the show from the DJ, who controlled the show for the majority of the night. Whether the rapper was successful in his attempt or not, the audience appeared to enjoy every moment of his time on stage and their enthusiasm never waivered.