On Wednesday night, Jan. 30, J.I.D took over The Hub and showed UCSB what he’s all about. Put on by the AS Program Board, this sold-out concert brought even more attention to the young rapper who is already quite famous among college kids. His confidence, lyrical prowess, and all around stage presence cemented him as a force to be reckoned with.
J.I.D. is a 28-year-old rapper from East Atlanta who is known for his incredible lyrical ability. He made a splash after singing with J. Cole’s record label, Dreamville, and impressed people with his debut album, “The Never Story” in 2017. He followed up strongly in 2018 with his mixtape “Dicaprio 2” and is promoting that project with the “Catch Me if You Can Tour.”
The anxious crowd was let in at 8:30 p.m., and soon after Los Angeles DJ Andre Power came out to warm up the crowd. His set was short and sweet, which was the perfect for the crowd who was antsy to see J.I.D.
J.I.D. came out at around 10 p.m. and the place erupted. He started with a few songs from “The Never Story” and it became apparent that most of the crowd was not simply checking J.I.D. out — most members were already fans.
The concert started to build momentum when J.I.D performed “Slick Talk” and immediately after, “WestBrook (with A$AP Ferg).” The crowd went wild and swayed back and forth. He then slowed it down with his song “Workin Out,” which demonstrated the more relaxed side of him.
The core of the fans pushed up to the front of the venue as everyone continuously tried to get closer. His stage presence was that of a veteran, moving around the whole stage so everyone could get a chance to get up close to him. While his vocals were a tad bit low, maybe at the fault of the small venue, everyone could still hear him hitting every single word during his songs.
The concert came to a tumultuous peak when he reached “Off Deez,” a song off “Dicaprio 2” with J. Cole. People from the back ran forward and everyone knew every word. The most impressive song he performed was “NEVER,” a quick and lyrically dense song, but he didn’t miss a beat.
The only disappointing aspect of the “Catch Me if You Can” tour was the merchandise. The black hoodies just had his album cover on them and the shirts had the tour logo on them with the dates. Hopefully he will improve on his merch for future tours.
Overall, the concert was high-energy and showcased J.I.D’s high level of skill. Seeing what J.I.D. was able to do with the small stage in The Hub shows his impressive prowess as an artist and demonstrates what may be possible with his future concerts.
The newcomer is targeting smaller audiences and college towns on the first leg of the tour, which shows that he cares about all of his fans. If you are interested in his music, keep an eye out for the second leg of his tour which will target bigger markets. If you like the A.S. Program Board events, be sure to check out Battle of the DJs 2019 on Feb. 13 in The Hub.