Wiz Khalifa’s “Decent Exposure” Tour Hits Irvine’s FivePoint Amphitheatre
This past weekend, Wiz Khalifa brought his Decent Exposure tour to Irvine and flooded FivePoint Ampitheatre with rap fans. The show began when long-time Wiz Khalifa collaborator Chevy Woods and the legendary DJ Drama took the stage. The crowd came to party, and the party started with Chevy Woods, who performed stand-out solo songs “Alright” and “Things Change”, while also treating the crowd to his verses on deep-cut Wiz Khalifa tracks “Medicated” and “Karate.” He teased Wiz Khalifa’s arrival and his love for SoCal weather before handing the show back to DJ Drama, who spun between each act.
DJ Drama is one of the most accomplished DJs in modern hip hop and has released music with the biggest names in rap, like Lil Wayne, Chris Brown and 2 Chainz. His impressive song selection was on display throughout the night, and he kept the crowd on their feet by playing classic SoCal rap anthems including, of course, music from the late, great Nipsey Hussle.
Next to take the stage was Moneybagg Yo, a Memphis rapper, who immediately won the crowd over with hits “Dior” and “Doin 2 Much.” Moneybagg is considered an up-and-coming rapper, and even while holding a predominantly southern fan-base, he saw a surprising amount of SoCal support with hundreds of fans screaming along to his songs. Moneybagg has become well-known in hip-hop culture partially due to his high profile relationship with budding female rap star, Meg Thee Stallion. Throughout his entire set, he bounced around the stage with a beaming smile, boasting all the while that he has “too much money” on tracks like “Style Ain’t Free.” Moneybagg was a gracious performer and after thanking the crowd through his thick southern drawl, announced to fans that he would head to the merch booth straight from the stage. He was met by dozens of his supporters, patiently waiting to take photos and receive autographs on their pieces of Moneybagg’s BreadGang merchandise.
After another strong set by DJ Drama, in which he spun an impressive XXXtentacion tribute mix for the slain rapper, trap and rap legend French Montana took the stage. French performed hits like “Unforgettable,” “Pop That” and “Marble Floors,” while reminding fans he has been featured on huge records like ASAP Ferg’s “Work Remix,” and “All the Way Up” with Fat Joe and Remy Ma. His performance was surprisingly passionate, which seems like a stark contrast from his usual laid-back and boss-like demeanor. He sang most of his lyrics, in a day and age where most rappers rely heavily on their vocal backtracks, and even incorporated a live band into his set, as opposed to solely using a DJ. French had a live drum set and even a violinist performing during all of his songs.
I had a chance to talk to French’s violinist Ash Meyers after his set, and Ash’s life on tour is as fun as you’d imagine. “I haven’t slept in about 15 days, but it’s so much fun, and I love French. People don’t know he’s frickin’ hilarious.”
“I can’t really say what we get into on the bus,” she said with a wry smile. “But it’s a Wiz Khalifa tour, so there’s a lot of weed, we’re high a lot.”
Finally the lights dimmed once more and Wiz Khalifa took the stage, to raucous applause from a sea of Pittsburgh Pirates fitted caps and pre-rolled joints. Wiz has stopped in Irvine on many of his tours and it’s easy to see why. The crowd faithfully sang along to classic Wiz tracks like “Taylor Gang” and “Young, Wild, and Free,” like they came out this summer, although he’s been performing those tracks in Irvine for almost a decade, sometimes twice a year. After turning up the crowd with hits like “Everyday We Lit” and “Bake Sale,” Wiz brought a very special guest on stage, his young son Sebastian, who is a fan favorite on Instagram just as much as he is on tour.
The two bashfully took the stage to share the mic over “Black and Yellow,” before Wiz debuted new music, an unheard remix to L.A.-based Aambjay’s rising hit “Uno.” After tossing several three-foot-long Wiz Khalifa-brand inflatable joints into the pit, Wiz rapped an entire verse over Aambjay’s samba-inspired beat to a roar of crowd approval. Before closing out this Decent Exposure tour stop, Wiz was joined on stage by French Montana for a performance of their song “Slide” (remix), which debuted this summer and also featured rappers Blueface and Lil TJay.
Although Wiz Khalifa’s tours often stop in SoCal, there is always a strong showing of cult Wiz Khalifa fans ready to buy almost every ticket and get rowdy to this hip hop titan’s extensive catalog of vibey and generally positive rap music. Surely, SoCal rap fans alike can’t wait for the next party that Wiz will bring to Irvine, as he has year after year.