If you’re looking to get your groove thang on this summer, here’s a list of the top 5 must see hip hop and R&B shows to hit Toronto this summer.
Toronto’s very own hip hop king Drake is hosting his 5th annual OVO Fest this year with surprise guests. Being at last year’s show, there hasn’t been any other concert that has yet to have topped the list. With surprise guest appearances from TLC, J. Cole, Miguel, A$AP Rocky, The Weeknd, French Montana, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, P.Diddy and Mase (can you believe it!?), it’s no wonder that tickets this year sold out in 2.5 seconds.
Drizzy has made some magic this year and will reunite Outkast members Andre 3000 and Big Boi in this summer’s show. Much to the dismay of hip hop fans – Outkast went on hiatus in 2006 to pursue separate solo careers. But with their reunion in Toronto, it has been the most anticipated and talked about hip hop event this year. You won’t want to miss this.
Date: Sunday & Monday, August 3-4
Location: Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
2. Lauryn Hill
Ms. Lauryn Hill, the queen of hip hop and R&B, has returned from her hiatus (and a slight detour into imprisonment) to grace us with her unforgettable tracks. L. Boogie up in here!
With her self-imposed exile and sporadic touring in the early and mid 2000’s, there has been some apprehension and disappointment among her fans about her lack of presence. But to be able to see one of the most influential women in hip hop (besides the current queen Erykah Badu), there’s something about seeing a legend. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill has to be one of the best albums ever released, and the much anticipated wait for her stage presence in our city has finally arrived.
Date: Saturday, July 21
Location: Sound Academy
It’s common today to refer to Maxwell as our generation’s Marvin Gaye. Maxwell has both the voice and musical talent to make the most soulful and sensual sounds. Best known for tracks like Get to Know Ya, Matrimony, Ascension and of course his recent collaboration with Alicia Keys in Fire We Make, this show is going to be one of the best soul and R&B concerts Toronto has yet to see.
Date: Saturday, July 5
Location: Massey Hall
4. Slum Village
Although newly familiar with this group, a friend of mine introduced me to Slum last year with the reggae infused track Closer. One thing led to another and soon hits like Tainted, Tell Me ft. D’Angelo and Fall in Love featuring the late J. Dilla were working their way onto my playlist. Their soulful sound, slow jams and occasional dance tracks are the perfect mix for a chill summer evening.
Date: Saturday, July 19
Location: The Rockpile West
Also newly introduced to Rakim, Toronto is bringing back one of hip hop’s original influencers. Beginning his career in the rap duo with Eric B., Rakim shortly after became known as one of the golden age hip hop artists most famous, influential and skilled emcees ever. Nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (!), The Source ranked Rakim as #1 on their list of Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. That’s one hell of a compliment.
If Rakim is on your list this summer – which he should be – keep an ear open for Paid in Full, When I be on the Mic, and Guess Who’s Back. You’ll understand why he’s up there with Nas.
Date: Friday, July 4
Location: Phoenix Concert Centre
What other hip hop and R&B concerts will you be checking out this summer? Let us who you’re headed to see!