Home field advantage plays just as big a role in music as it does in sports. Put a rapper on stage in any city and he’ll fair fine as long as the music is good and his or her ability to perform ignites the crowd. But put the musician in front of the home team and watch the energy and excitement ratchet up several notches.
That was the case Tuesday as ScHoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad and Vince Staples brought the Oxymoron Tour to Nashville. Obviously, a majority of the crowd paid to catch Groovy Q do his thing and do it he did. Still, I’d assume the whole crowd packed into Anthem to see Isaiah do his first performance in Nashville since signing with TDE.
While Chattanooga, TN is his hometown, Rashad spent time residing in the 615 as well, developing a strong base of fans and earning his stripes as one of the artists in the city’s Hip-Hop scene. Their fraternity may be modest in size but they’re strongly bound together, making it a point to show up and support one another whether it be to play hypeman, kick a guest verse or to simply make sure their fellow MCs see familiar faces in the crowd when they’re up on stage.
And on Tuesday, the one on stage was Isaiah playing through his Cilvia Demo to a packed house of roughly 1,000.
The show recap above captures the energy level of the crowd fairly well and I upped several clips from the night on my Instagram account as the show was going down. But what ended up being the highlight of the night occurred during the transition when Isaiah decided not to exit after his set was over.
Instead, he stayed up there and played DJ/crowd motivator to pump everybody up for Q’s turn. During it all, he cued up an appropriately titled Future song (“My Momma”) before bringing his mom, who watched his full performance from the side, front and center to straight enjoy the moment.
It was one of those things where all the participants – Zay, Momma Isaiah and the crowd – were on full tilt. A moment like it can never be recreated, not by the MC as an upstart returning having grown in measure and gained his footing in the game.