Since Houston rapper Maxo Kream dropped his highly anticipated album “Brandon Banks” recently, I figured that this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about the time he performed at Oberlin.
It may seem crazy to believe, but many famous artists perform at this school all the time, especially rappers.
Maxo Kream’s performance is easily one of my favorite memories at Oberlin. I was a pretty big fan before he came to the school, so when he arrived, I was pretty exhilarated to say the very least. He came to Obieland a few months after he came out with his album “Punken.” (FYI, I still listen to that album to this day, so that should tell you enough about how I feel about it!) What made the experience even sweeter was the fact that the tickets were very cheap. In fact, I was friends with somebody who was on the concert board at the time, so I was able to watch one of my favorite rappers perform for FREE.
The performance happened at the Sco, which is the venue where most of the popular rappers who come to Oberlin come to. Every now and then, there may be a performance at the Cat in the Cream or the old gym, but more often than not, the performance is at the good ol’ Sco in Wilder Hall. The place is small with a bar in the back, but it’s not too small. Does it get packed at times? Absolutely, and it was definitely packed when Maxo performed there. However, that’s how most rap concerts are. If you are not comfortable with being surrounded by people, standing near the stage at rap concerts might not be your thing, especially at the Sco. Otherwise, it’s one of my favorite venues to go to because of its intimate vibe.
When Maxo came to the Sco, I made sure that the group I came with arrived early. That way, we would be able to beat the crowd. The line got pretty long very quickly, which was expected. I mean, it’s Maxo Kream we’re talking about here. He’s one of the most popular artists out today, and he’s definitely among the most popular rappers to perform at Oberlin since I’ve been there. If you listen to rap music regularly, there’s a pretty decent chance that you know who Maxo Kream is. His music might even be blaring at some of the Oberlin parties you show up to!
When my group entered the Sco, we had to show the attendant (well known as Mama Sco… Current Obies, if you know, you know!) our student IDs. This was to confirm that we were Obies (we get discounts for the concerts) and also to confirm our ages since there’s a bar inside of the venue. Then we received wristbands that represent if we were over or under the age of 21 based on their colors, and we got in.
Before Maxo Kream came on, there was music blaring for folks to dance around and turn up to. Honestly, I just sat down and vibed out for a bit before the opener came on stage. I knew that I would be pretty hype for Maxo, so I wanted to conserve as much energy as I could. Then the opener came on. The opening acts at Oberlin are usually pretty good, and this was no exception.
After that, we had to wait a little bit longer for Maxo to appear. At this point, it was around 11 P.M. Nobody in my friend group was anxious or anything, though. Main acts usually appear around that time, if not later. I have no idea what artists do backstage at the Sco, but I would assume that they’re getting prepared with their equipment and everything. There’s a lot that goes behind the scenes, even at small venues like the Sco, so that may be one of the main reasons why the artists perform so late. Also, people usually don’t show up until later because they are pregaming beforehand.
Once Maxo came on the stage, everyone got HYPE. He appeared with his DJ and hype man to help him with the lyrics and everything. A lot of Maxo Kream’s music is really upbeat with a really deep bass in the background, so his songs were perfect for getting the crowd hype. I can’t lie to y’all; this concert was one of the most exciting ones I have ever been to. The energy was beyond electric. Maxo wasn’t even doing anything crazy like running across the stage or jumping into the crowd either! He just rapped his tail off to some really great beats like he always does. His energy wasn’t lacking at all, and I know it wasn’t easy for him to maintain breath control and energy on that hot stage. He did all of that and made it look easy on top of it.
Maxo performed nearly all of the songs I wanted him to perform, so I was beyond satisfied with the show. He interacted with the crowd in a way that never felt awkward. It was all authentic and real. He was just being himself while he was on stage, and there seemed to be a genuine connection between him and the crowd at the Sco. That’s also pretty difficult to do, considering that his background is very different from most of the people there.
The man is from the ghettos of Alief, Texas, and let me just say that most Obies wouldn’t feel too comfortable there. He raps about his experiences there all the time, and I’m 99.9% sure that most Obies can’t relate to those experiences. However, none of that truly mattered at the concert, because he conveyed those experiences through his hype music unapologetically.
Overall, I had a phenomenal time. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see him in concert again. If Oberlin is lucky enough, he may return someday. I wouldn’t be too upset if he didn’t, though, because that one experience was enough to satisfy my ears for a lifetime. It’s crazy to believe that he’s even more famous now than ever before, especially with his new album that just came out. I feel really blessed to know that I was able to experience that as well as many other wonderful performances at Oberlin.
One of my favorite things about the school is that it attracts so much talent due to it being an elite college for artistic fields. Oberlin has attracted talents like Maxo Kream for decades, and it doesn’t seem to stop doing so for a very long time. Hopefully, you may be able to experience at least one concert from an artist you’re a fan of at Oberlin. The chances are pretty high that you eventually will. Oh, and by the way, check out Maxo’s latest album, “Brandon Banks.” It’s really, REALLY good, and I encourage all lovers of music to give it a listen.
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January 9, 2023