21 Savage performed many of his chart-topping hits at the Quadmania concert on Sunday. Photo by Alex McKenzie.
Since his debut mixtape in 2015, Atlanta rapper 21 Savage has blown up the rap charts. His first album, “Issa Album,” landed number two on the Billboard 200 list and produced the hit single “Bank Account.”
Since last year, 21 Savage has been featured by a number of artists, including Post Malone, Cardi B and Farruko. He most recently released a collaboration album with Migos rapper, Offset, and producer Metro Boomin titled, “Without Warning.”
The rapper is also known for his commitment to making money. Earlier this month, the 25-year-old explained in a tweet that he would rather be the richest rapper in the world than be the greatest. In a 2016 feature by Fader, producer Metro Boomin said, “If you ever see 21 Savage do a song with a rapper, it’s because he got paid the way he wanted to get paid.”
The Student Events Board named 21 Savage as this year’s featured Quadmania performer in February. Per tradition, the concert was held in the Retriever Activities Center, where a small stage was built onto the basketball court.
The rapper arrived without fanfare, about half an hour after the announced show time. This was an indicator for the rest of the concert; a hint at the dry stage presence of 21 Savage.
Much of the energy of the night was built by Savage’s DJ. However, there were noticeable lags in the crowd’s energy during songs. During “Need a Lighter,” Savage’s DJ hyped up the crowd by asking audience members to pull out their phone lights in the blacked-out RAC.
Savage performed a handful of songs, some of his features, as well as songs from his album and mixtapes. The quiet fury which powers all of his verses was pronounced during his performance. It worked perfectly for songs such as “X” and “Red Opps.” As students sang along, Savage chanted, “I’m on that slaughter gang shit! Murder gang shit!”
The rapper acted casually during his set, occasionally bouncing across the stage to get crowd members moving. However, the most the rapper could do to interest crowd members was to ask them to cheer and shout his name.
At times, it appeared that crowd members were livelier than the actual performer. At several points during the show, handfuls of dollar bills were thrown into the air and snatched by desperate concert-goers. There were also reports of fights and rowdy, intoxicated attendees in the venue.
After less than an hour into the concert, 21 Savage threw a peace sign, saying, “UMBC, I love y’all forever,” before exiting the stage. Audience members stood confused and frustrated for a few minutes as they realized the event had come to an abrupt conclusion.
Tiffany Young, a sophomore biology major, was not satisfied with the length of the concert. “I was disappointed,” she said. “I expected it to go on until eleven and instead it ended at ten-thirty. I think they should have reduced the price. I don’t think it was worth what we payed.”
21 Savage’s performance was shorter than that of singer T-Pain, who took the stage of last year’s Quadmania concert. Despite the few exciting moments of the event, this year’s concert will be remembered as short and mostly unremarkable. The rapper will return to Baltimore on May 19 as a co-headliner on Post Malone’s spring tour.