Photo by Wesley Ng
Photo by Wesley Ng

With lyrics like “She got a big booty / so I call her Miss Booty,” it came as no surprise to me that UCR’s Spring Splash headliner, “2 Chainz,” was as lackluster as his music.

The hip hop recording artist has become popular lately due to songs such as “I’m Different” and the previously mentioned “Birthday Song.” Plenty of fans gathered to watch the performer live, but I couldn’t help but notice the unenthused faces that squeezed together just beyond the fifth row and the continual streamline of attendees walking away from the stage. Rick Ross, who performed just before fellow rapper 2 Chainz, definitely saw a larger audience and a lot more movement in the crowd.

Unfortunately for 2 Chainz, the audience did not have the same vibe and spectators grew significantly less jovial after the first few seconds.

Both “I Luv Dem Strippers” and “Fuckin’ Problems” received a semi-mellow response from the crowd, making for a duller experience. 2 Chainz also only rapped three to four lines of the latter, which makes me question why he would even play the song to begin with. As the attendees grew tired and a familiar scent began to drift away, the middle of the show was probably the lowest point. Although a good number of people remained, bouncing to the well-known 2 Chainz beats in the first few rows, the rest of the crowd grew thinner.

The performance, however, did begin to gain some electricity as the rapper’s show transitioned into the ending portion. People again began to push their way back in through the packed lawn, and the audience began to loosen up. “No Lie” was a crowd pleaser, along with the previously mentioned “I’m Different,” both earning audience-wide raised hands.

The music was no doubt loud. The rapping was certainly below-average. But, the rhythmic beats vibrating through the ground finally gained a greater fan reaction as 2 Chainz’s set came to a close.

2 Chainz may be a popular choice as the go-to house-bumping party music, but the live performance didn’t see the intended energy, even as viewers awakened for the end. Granted, there were notable instances of rowdiness and eccentricity, but only during the rapper’s most popular works. A concert becomes sub-par if the artist is hit-and-miss. Although the southern rapper has hit the top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 list more than once, I still don’t see myself becoming a fan. 2 Chainz bumps hard, but his shows just don’t flow.