In a large white tee that threw back all of the stage lights into the eyes of the audience, just like a mirror, the colossal force that is Rick Ross confidently took the stage. Took as in stole. Took as in how you imagine someone might commandeer a tank or castle through sheer physical presence alone.

His DJ told the audience again and again that Ricky Rozay was coming, and then there he was, nothing but beard, sunglasses, and power; when he spoke into the mic the bass from the speakers boxed your ears and sucker-punched your guts. The audience roared out of their stupor.

When Ross asked that everyone put their cell phones in the air for “9 Piece,” no one disobeyed. No one believes that Rick Ross isn’t a star, and it's his unwavering commitment to a cool and hard exterior—qualities that made him the foil to Drake over the course of the evening—that makes him just that. His career is built on insisting he's something that he's not.

Ross’ insistence on not being a star made for a commanding but not awesome performance. The message broadcast to the audience was, “This is easy for me.” Which is impressive, but only for a little while.