By: Ryan Ribinskas
It has been almost two years since the Baton Rouge hip-hop artist last was on tour, three years since being at The Agora, but you would not think that with the way the crowd in downtown Cleveland came out to show their support for him on a cool Tuesday evening. With the lines stretching all around the venue, fans had been gathered in anticipation to see the ‘2 phones’ Louisiana artist perform. As like the previous dates on his ‘Luca Brasi 3’ tour, the Agora Ballroom was sold out too, that night.
The line would not fully die down until right before the opening acts were set to go on around 9 PM. With help from OG Boobie Black, Tokyo Jetz, and Yung Bleu, the fans of all ages were rocking the whole night. The range of fans that came out to mainly see Gates, was incredible. The ages ranged from what it seemed to be lower junior high, all the way up to mid 50’s. Coming into the show, I did not expect such a big crowd for Gates, especially after being off the music seen for the last year until recently being released from prison this past January.
As soon as Gates stepped on stage, fans went absolutely nuts. He came out very emotional as he did a sample of a song off of his recent album ‘Luca Brasi 3’, and then took a moment as he just looked up in the crowd before continuing. He had a moment with the crowd inside the Agora Ballroom, like it was his first time performing, staring with a gaze in his eye, asking one simple question; “Cleveland, do you love me?” With that, the crowd responded with a mixture of cheers and “Yes!”
Gates then proceeded to continue on with the show for another hour and half with songs off his new album, where me personally were shocked at how many people in the crowd had already known every lyric, again from young to old, they were really rocking with him heavy. Then he got into his hits from 2015, ‘2 phones’ and ‘Really Really’, in which Gates did not even have to perform a single word as the crowd went berserk and so did Gates up on stage to cap off another great sold out show.
Knowing that being away from the hip-hop game for a little over a year seems like an eternity to artists, I would not be surprised to see Gates keep pushing his way into climbing up on the charts in the near future. Especially with how loyal and how diverse his fans are.