Top 5 Hip Hop and R&B Concerts in Toronto this Summer

Drake

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.

1. OVO

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 WeekndFrench 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

 

3. Maxwell

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 TaintedTell 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

 

5. Rakim

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 Micand Guess Who’s BackYou’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!

[Psychedelic Rock/Reggae] “Basher” – Slightly Stoopid

Slightly Stoopid

There was nothing better to wake me up this morning than the warm and inviting light peaking through my window curtain and then realizing that it’s Sunday – I’ve got one more day in the weekend to take advantage of. It’s spring, the weather is getting warmer, the sun rising a little higher.

What comes to mind that expresses this “chill some” vibe, to me, is Slightly Stoopid‘s “Basher.” With psychedelic roots and hints of ska, this is a vibe that makes you think that while it may not be summer just yet, we can dream for now.

Happy Sunday y’all.

[Rap] “The Recipe” by Kendrick Lamar Ft. Dr. Dre

Kendrick Lamar

I only discovered Kendrick Lamar this past year but I quickly became a fan shortly after, hearing tracks like “B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” “Poetic Justice,” “Swimming Pools,” “Collard Queens,” “She Needs Me,” “No Makeup” … the list could go on. But when I found “The Recipe,” I think I had this song on repeat for a week.

The one and only Dr. Dre makes an appearance on the track, which debuted as a single from his first major label good kid, m.A.A.d city in 2012. The song gives props to some of Lamar’s favourite cities, but his main focus is on L.A. and the best of what it has to offer: women, weed and weather. The bottom line? There’s nothing like Cali.For.N.I.A.

Wha-what more can I say, w-welcome to L.A.!

[R&B] “Yonce” & “Partition” Beyonce Remix

Beyonce

Beyonce‘s surprise album has only been live for just over a week and djs are already all over her music – they liked it so they put a remix on it.

Music producer, dj and songwriter Yashar Gasanov mixed Beyonce’s “Yoncé” and “Partition” singles into a slow-moving, deep house and techno twist. With the bass in tact and the piano adding to the rhythm, Gasanov’s crafts a remix to be obsessed about.  As Queen B puts it, he “sneezed on the beat and the beat got sicker, Yoncé y’all on his mouth like liquor.”

[R&B] Beyonce’s Surprise Album Drop on iTunes

Beyonce

Can we just talk about something real quick?

Let’s first talk about the fact that Beyonce just released an album at 12am on Friday, December 13th – with NO HYPE. No publicity, no stunt, no warning, no build up… no nothing.

No one knew that Queen B was about to drop a bomb as arguably one of the best – if not THE best – albums of 2013. No other musical artist has done this, “this” being one of the smartest “campaigns” for an album release. The rest of Hollywood is probably shaking her head right at this moment…

After the album drop, Queen B stated, “I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it, I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”

Along with this surprise album, Beyonce gives fans a list of 17 tracks to bounce too – including a music video for every track. This is probably B’s greatest holiday gift ever. Here are some of my favourites:

1. Rocket

2. Yonce / Partition

3. Mine ft. Drake

4. Blow

5. No Angel

Full of confidence and sass, Bee really amped up the sexiness on this album. You can also get a sense that Jay-Z lent a hand to Beyonce on the self-titled album “Beyonce,” with tracks like “Drunk in Love” (which features Jay-Z) where B takes a shot at spitting her own rap game.

While the hype around the surprise album release was starting to sky rocket in the social realm, Beyonce casually uploaded a picture of cupcakes on her Instagram. The girl didn’t even blink at the millions she just made overnight. And all she’s sayin’ is “H-Town vicious, bow down bitches!”

Press Play

I don’t really think there is anything else I could say as to why I started a music blog, other than the obvious reason that I have thing for music. Well, it’s more than a thing. I think passionate love affair is more accurate.

There is no one genre of music I listen to as I like to keep my mind open and exposed to all types. From samba and soul to rap and reggae, this blog is your source for anything and everything music.

I’d like to set up my postings (music old and new) as follows:

Mondays – Mix-Up: Look at these days as my random card. I will post a song from any type of genre I feel like.

Tuesdays – House/Dance.

Wednesdays – Reggae. Yeah mon.

Thursdays – Rap/R&B/Hip Hop/Soul/Funk.

Fridays – Top 40.

Saturdays – Latin.

Sundays – Rock/Country/Alternative.

I might switch these up depending on their popularity, so starting on Monday, it will be a test. And if you don’t see something on here that you’re into or that I haven’t mentioned, I am very open to suggestions.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you stick around. All you got to do to enjoy yourself here is to press play.