The summer months of July and August are close approaching, and there are plenty of great Hip-Hop artists set to perform in our city! We got you Hip-Hop heads covered with the top five shows you need to see (in chronological order):
5. Main Source at Unity Festival in David Pecaut Square – July 15, 2017
Unity Festival is back for their tenth anniversary, and they’re moving a few blocks west from their usual Dundas Square location to David Pecaut Square. The free, outdoor festival will feature some of Toronto’s up-and-coming artists, and will be headlined by Main Source, who are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album, Breaking Atoms. For younger heads, the album may be most known for featuring the legendary Nas’ debut with his first ever studio-recorded verse. While Nas himself is coming to Toronto later this fall, this celebration of the classic Breaking Atoms will be a dope appetizer to bring heads back to that golden era of Hip-Hop.
4. Kendrick Lamar at The Air Canada Centre – July 25 & August 23, 2017
This one is a no-brainer. Kendrick Lamar’s new album Damn may go down as the most popular Hip-Hop album of 2017, and his fame has shot up exponentially since the last time he was in Toronto. He’ll be going from opening for Kanye West on the Yeezus Tour back in 2013 to headlining two of his own shows at the ACC, with Travis Scott opening for him in July and YG opening in August. Getting tickets to the first show was frustrating for a lot of fans, as the bullshit fake fans bought them all up in seconds, only to immediately put them back on the resale market at a hefty premium (this usually happens to pop stars, not rappers). Adding a second Toronto show to the tour was necessary, and fans still have a chance to get into the August 23rd show at a fair price.
3. Method Man & Redman at Toronto’s Festival of Beer – July 28, 2017
Toronto’s Festival of Beer is a three-day event at Bandshell Park that features over 300 beers (416 to be exact, matching our area code) from around the world to sample in a fun, outdoor setting. Besides the beer, there are games to play, specialty food to eat, and live musicians to see – with Hip-Hop royalty headlining the Friday night. The folks behind Beer Festival may have quietly planned the most true-to-form Hip-Hop party of the summer, with Method Man and Redman being two artists who embody Hip-Hop culture, and Toronto-based opener and frequent collaborator Saukrates adding icing to the cake (or hops to the pint). It’ll be the first time in about five years since Red & Mef performed in Toronto together, and a rare time we’ll get to see them outdoors during the summer; true Hip-Hop heads will not want to miss this!
Tickets are still available at beerfestival.ca, use the promo codes HIPHOP, METHODMAN or DISCOVER to get $5 off general admission!
2. J. Cole at The Air Canada Centre – July 28 & 29, 2017
It’s been established that in terms of mainstream popularity in the newer generation of Hip-Hop, the big three running things right now are Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and J. Cole. Having released his fourth major-label album, 4 Your Eyez Only in December of last year, Cole is still making his rounds on tour celebrating his second consecutive album to achieve that platinum-with-no-features status that may follow him for the rest of his career. Just like Kendrick, this is also Cole’s first time headlining his own shows at the ACC, having performed in several smaller venues across Toronto over the years, ranging from Roundhouse Park to Massey Hall to the Molson Amphitheatre (now known as the Budweiser Stage). He’s paid his dues and is now at the top of his game.
1. Logic & Joey Bada$$ at Echo Beach – August 26, 2017
This is a special moment in time for these two artists. They’re arguably the two biggest Hip-Hop artists under the age of 30 right now, having released two of the best Hip-Hop albums of 2017 with Joey Bada$$’ All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ and Logic’s Everybody. Not really having much interaction in the past, the one thing that draws these two artists together is the comparable trajectory of success they’ve had over their individual careers. They’re equally as influential and both deserve to be headlining, which is why you may see it promoted as both Everybody’s Tour and the All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ World Tour. It also looks like Toronto is the last stop on the tour, so it’s bound to be a special night!
Which summer concerts are you looking forward to the most??
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