The “Luv is 4 Ever” Tour is one of the best out right now, and I wholeheartedly say that it’s one of best show I’ve been to in Toronto. If you know nothing about the meteoric rise to fame of the two southern rap artists J.I.D & Smino, fear not and listen. The artists, band members, and DJ bring their heart and soul to every second of the show as they serenaded us through the emotional highs and lows of the night. The 22 city tour features tracks of J.I.D and Sminos latest projects , Luv 4 Rent, and The Forever Story, respectively.
Their opening act, Jordan Ward, made a fan of me. Firstly, his voice was on point! His music was sensual and beautiful, but delivered with energy and passion as he moved across the stage. This man was bringing old school RnB with brand swag, and if i had to recommend a track I’d say start with “FAMJAM4000”.
Smino took to the stage next and did what only they can do. At the start of his set, he begins with the acknowledging the crowd and introduces us to the theme of the tour.
“Ima’ need everyone to put their hands up, if you got one hand, put it up, if you got two hands throw up some heart shapes, put them in the air! We do this cuz we love it and wanna share that with you, so every time I say heart shape i need you to put em up, okay?” In that moment he had us, and proceeded to put on a master class of crowd control and audience interaction. Were you on the “ratchet right” or the left? His unique voice, genre-bending approach to music, and electrifying live performance had the venue bursting at the seams. To begin with, he can sing, not just sing, but sing-sing, and he didn’t hold back. He did the crowd favorites like Klink” and “Rice and Gravy.” . “Louphoria,” as a live performance was amazing and showed the power of a live band.
Off his latest album, anthems like “No L’s,” “Ole Ass Kendrick” and “Matinee” were the bangers they were always meant to be as we enjoyed them with him. Smino’s performance as a whole was fun and vibrant, he led us on a trip that could only get better and better, and the first of the main acts on stage, this was the perfect way to start the tour.
Now if you don’t know, there’s usually a small break in between acts on stage and this night was the same, the lights went back up and you would expect people to disperse and go to one of the bars, but this was different, from right of stage of the room begins to chant, “J.I.D, J.I.D, J.I.D!” It spread across the floor, they were transfixed and couldn’t be stopped. Smino had the room at fever pitch and J.I.D was the only person who could appease us.
The lights go off, then they go dark red, a man with a teddy bear on his back takes the stage, sits down on what looks to be bleachers from a high school gym, and the crowd erupts.
Not to be outdone, J.I.D brings his whole heart and soul to the show, the subject matter of his album demands it. He was focused and promised to give us one of, “IF NOT THE BEST”, shows of our lives, but if you are a frequent concert goer you’ve probably heard that before, so i’ll say this he came pretty damn close. The set design and lighting worked hand in hand perfectly to transport the crowd into J.I.D’s mindset. Two sideways hearts that meet in the middle of the stage draw our eyes, old pictures and videos are projected into them to show what lyrics can’t say.
One of the things that sets J.I.D apart from other rappers is his ability to switch up his style and tempo, keeping the audience on their toes and engaged throughout the set. This was on full display as we went though hits from his latest project and peppered us with his mosh pit classics. Whether he’s delivering lightning-fast verses or slowing things down for a more introspective moment, J.I.D knows how to keep the crowd moving and for what must have been 30 minutes of non-stop madness he did exactly that.
J.I.D has performed songs from his new album The Forever Story like “Galaxy,” “Raydar,” “Dance Now,” “Sistanem,” “Kody Bly 31,” “Bruddanem,” “Just In Time,” and “Crack Sandwich.”
He has a way of connecting with his audience through his music, lyrics, and stage presence, and because of that we had some really genuine moments. As the mosh pit began to start pushing a bit to hard, he puts the mic to his lips and says, “heartshape”, making sure everyone is safe. He saw an argument in the crowd and stopped his performance to help out. “Ayo, we family in here, thats not family”, and when things escalated a bit more he was funnier still, “ay ay, no more white fights! If you wanna mosh, do your thing, but if someone doesnt let them take a few steps back,” and that was that, handled like a pro.
Smino came back on stage as the pair began performing their shared songs, and the energy only went up from there. The band members were given their time to shine and they did not miss a beat for the whole night.
By the end of it we had seen it all, and been through every genre of hip-hop under the sun. The “Luv is 4eva” Tour is a must see, and a solid 10/10 from Smino and J.I.D