St. Petersburg Rapper, Rod Wave, delivered an incredible show at the State Farm Arena
On December 13, 2023, Rod Wave, a well-known rapper who gained a lot of fame and notoriety in 2018, came to the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia to perform in front of a sold out crowd. There were people packed all around the arena, hours before the gates opened at 7PM EST. Rod Wave last went on tour towards the end of 2022 for the “Beautiful Mind” tour, his last album that dropped in August 2022. This time around, the rapper went on tour to perform songs from his “Nostalgia” album. Accompanying him would be fellow rapper Toosii and R&B singer, Ari Lennox, who would perform respectfully before Rod Wave.
Before the start of the event, several artists Rod Wave is friends with performed to get the ball rolling. Eelmatic, an R&B singer from South Florida, the same area in which Rod Wave is from, performed one of his most recent hits from his “Melodies from Miami Album”, The song, titled Too/2, which is a song about his shenanigans with a woman that is not good for him, but he still has a soft spot for her, regardless. The other song performed was Redemption, which was about him being alone after his woman moved on to somebody else.
While Eelmatic has not risen to fame just yet, he has been traveling to every concert on the Nostalgia tour to open up and promote his music. Shortly after, LSU basketball player and 2023 NCAA champion, Flau’jae Johnson, came on stage to freestyle for the crowd. She received a lot of cheers from the crowd before exiting the stage to allow Toosii to perform. Johnson is currently signed to Roc Nation and intends on collaborating with bigger artists down the line and this performance solidified her as a future big-time hip hop star. (TMZ.com)
When Toosii came out at 8:30PM, he opened up with one of his biggest songs, Love Cycle, which helped him rise to fame and gain notoriety. Love Cycle is a melodic song that fuses new-school R&B and Hip-Hop. He performed another popular track, Love is… and his most recent hit which topped the charts, Favorite Song. The crowd erupted in lyrics and cheers, with a prominent amount of female fans running to the front of the stage. He also performed several songs from his previous mixtapes over the years and performed until it was Ari Lennox’s turn. Ari Lennonx played her 2015 hit, Shea Butter Baby, as well as various other tracks from her recent projects and EP from 2016.
The stands were relatively empty prior to Rod Wave himself coming out to perform. Traffic was bad, many fans needed to get to the event, due to heavy Atlanta traffic. By 10:00PM, the stands filled up and the stage was set, literally and figuratively. The stage went dark, smoke arose and Rod Wave came out to perform his first track, Call Your Friends, a song emphasizing the importance of keeping in contact with those near and dear to you and being there for one another. He followed up by performing songs from his first major album, “Ghetto Gospel”, taking fans back down memory lane.
Next up were songs from his “Pray 4 Love” album, with tracks including Girl of my Dreams and Rags 2 Riches. Girl of my Dreams is about a woman he knows is not good for him, but still has his heart. He asks God for guidance regarding how he should go about her, describing her as a “devil in a dress, and an angel in some Nike Airs”. Rags 2 Riches is a song about his financial struggles growing up and how he can’t believe he made it this far. This song grew in popularity over time, specifically when Atlanta rapper, Lil Baby, was featured on this song. He performed various other songs from his “SoulFLy” Album, including 2019, Tombstone and Street Runner, all of which go in-depth about the darkest times of his life. His energy on stage was electric and the platform lifting him up in the air brought the life of the rapper out in full force.
However, the point of the tour is to play his best tracks from the Nostalgia album. His song Come See Me consisted of him going on an elevator that took him to the top of his prop, a Hotel balcony, to perform this song and perform a stunt that goes hand-in-hand with his lyric about being “so high he almost jumped out a window”. The crowd grew somewhat silent as he extended his arms out beyond his shoulders and fell backwards into a cushion below the stage, and continued his show.
He also performed his song Boyz Don’t Cry, which is about men being unable to open up about their mental health, Crazy, a track about him chasing his dream of becoming an artist and how everyone from his home town in St. Petersburg, Florida thought he was crazy for leaving and taking music seriously and one of his best tracks from the album, Great Gatsby, a song about him throwing a party, was the last son her performed before telling “Atlanta goodbye, until next time”. With Rod Wave growing in popularity continuously, it’s no surprise the show sold out and a few of his fans asked people outside the State Farm Arena if they were in the line for tickets. He is only going to continue to grow in popularity, and after another successful show, people should anticipate tickets to sell out in advance every year.
By: Damani I. Smith
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