Top 8 Upcoming Hip-Hop Concerts to see in Toronto This Summer (2018)

Summer in The Six is upon us, and as usual, the city is about to become a hot spot for music festivals and concerts! There are plenty of artists coming to the city, some promoting new albums, and others with years of classic material to perform. We’ve narrowed down our top eight picks for Hip-Hop heads to check out over these next few months, laid out in chronological order below:

8. Fabolous & Jadakiss at Rebel Nightclub
(June 28, 2018)

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After teaming up to release their Friday On Elm Street album late last year, Fabolous & Jadakiss have been on the road, and are finally coming to Toronto to perform. The two New York veterans have each been known for their standout 16s, and this will be a rare opportunity to see them perform together. Regardless of this unique team-up, Toronto has been starved to see either of these MCs perform live; Jadakiss last performed here at this same venue in 2014 with The LOX, while Fabolous’ last show in Toronto was in 2015. Besides the new album, there are plenty of classics between the two of them that they can perform, which will make for a night filled with memorable rap bars.

Get tickets here.

 

7. Logic at Budweiser Stage
(July 5, 2018)

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Less than a year after closing out the North American leg of Everybody’s Tour with a show at Echo Beach, Logic is returning to the larger venue next door on his new Bobby Tarantino vs. Everybody Tour. As fans await his fourth and possibly final rap album, Logic has been pushing the “album Logic” vs “mixtape Logic” narrative, releasing his Bobby Tarantino II mixtape and showing that he’s a raw spitter that can rap with the best of them when he steps outside of his conceptually-focused albums. While he’s mostly performed album cuts at his previous concerts, it seems like this tour will see more of a balance between Logic performing his album tracks and his mixtape tracks, which will make for a new dynamic on stage.

Get tickets here.

 

6. Lauryn Hill at Budweiser Stage
(July 18, 2018)

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This summer will mark the twentieth anniversary of Lauryn Hill’s classic album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Earning her multiple Grammy awards, platinum plaques, and an induction into the Harvard University Library archives, Lauryn Hill’s sole solo album is one of Hip-Hop’s most celebrated masterpieces, and she’s of course giving it the tour treatment to mark the occasion. With her history of sometimes showing up late to concerts and/or performing alternate, unrecognizable versions of her songs, skeptical fans will be glad to know that she’ll be joined by Hip-Hop legend Busta Rhymes, singer Santigold, and up-and-comers Dave East and Tierra Whack. While we saw her share the stage with Nas last fall, this tour will see the spotlight solely on her, as she celebrates her masterpiece.

Get tickets here.

 

5. Ludacris at Toronto’s Festival of Beer
(July 27, 2018)

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Last year we named Toronto’s Festival of Beer the best concert of 2017, and they continue to do big things in 2018. Adding another day to the festival this year, musical headliners will include Broken Social Scene on the new Thursday night, Dwayne Gretzky on Saturday, I Mother Earth & Finger Eleven on Sunday, and of course Friday night is still for Hip-Hop heads, with Ludacris headlining. This will be Luda’s first time performing in Toronto in over five years, and he’ll be doing it in front of a sold-out Beer Fest at Bandshell Park. With hundreds of beers from all over the world to sample outdoors during sunny July, having a Hip-Hop star with decades of hits like Ludacris is icing on the cake. After seeing Method Man & Redman put on an all-time great performance at last year’s festival, it will be exciting to see Ludacris attempt to fill those shoes.

Tickets to see Ludacris on the Friday are currently sold out, but Thursday and Sunday tickets are still available at BeerFestival.ca!

(UPDATE: We went to this show and reviewed it! Read the full review here.)

4. Busta Rhymes & Lil’ Kim at Rebel Nightclub
(July 27, 2018)

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For Busta Rhymes fans who want a more intimate experience than the spacious Budweiser Stage, he’ll be headlining his own smaller show at Rebel Nightclub alongside Lil’ Kim. It’s been years, maybe even a decade since either of these two Brooklyn legends performed in Toronto, which makes this a rare opportunity for fans of classic Hip-Hop. It will be a late show with doors opening at 10:30pm, which means fans may not necessarily have to decide between seeing either this show or Ludacris at Beer Fest. Known as one of the all-time greats when it comes to performing live, Busta Rhymes is a must-see artist, especially considering how rare it is for him to come to Toronto.

Get tickets here.

(UPDATE: We went to this show and reviewed it! Read the full review here.)

3. Wu-Tang Clan at Lot42 – Kitchener, ON
(July 29, 2018)

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All nine living members of the Wu-Tang Clan are currently on tour together celebrating the 25th anniversary of their classic debut album, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). They’ve been headlining Hip-Hop festivals around the world, and while Toronto may not have a world-class music festival dedicated solely to Hip-Hop like a Soundset or A3C, our friends at R-Evolution Media Studios have at least brought the Clan to Ontario with this show in Kitchener. It may be an hour and a half drive outside of Toronto, but it looks like this will be the only opportunity to see all nine members of the Clan together in Ontario, with all of them currently committed to this 25th anniversary tour. We’ve had Wu-Tang concerts in the past, but never before with all nine members!

Get tickets here.

(UPDATE: We went to this show and reviewed it! Read the full review here.)

 

2. Manifesto Festival at City Hall
(August 17, 2018)

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Entering its 12th year, Manifesto Festival has reverted back to putting on a free outdoor concert after spending the last two years at Echo Beach. There will be several events put on between August 5th to 19th, including a pre-festival boat cruise, an art show, and a giant house party, and it will all culminate in the free concert at Nathan Phillips Square on August 17th. The same festival that has brought Hip-Hop legends like Pharaohe Monch and Souls of Mischief to Toronto in the past has since moved to alternatives, focusing more on RnB and electronic music. This year the free concert will be headlined by Reggae singer Chronixx, and there are bound to be some Hip-Hop performers still to be announced!

Info on the festival can be found at mnfsto.com.

 

1. Childish Gambino at the Air Canada Centre
(September 10, 2018)

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Lando Calrissian is taking off in the Millennium Falcon and going on an arena tour this fall, with Toronto as the third stop out of 18 cities. With his hand in acting, directing, producing, and writing for film & TV on top of his thriving music career, it’s hard to tell how often fans are going to be able to see Donald Glover perform as Childish Gambino going forward. It’s been said that his upcoming fourth album under the Gambino persona will be his last, and it’s expected to be his return to Hip-Hop after completely diving into Soul and Funk on 2016’s Awaken, My Love!. This is also his first time touring since 2014; last performing at the Sound Academy before it was rebranded to Rebel, he’s since been propelled into stardom and stadium status. This will be his first time performing at the ACC, and could very well be his last with the way his film career is taking off.

Get tickets here.

(UPDATE: We went to this show and reviewed it! Read the full review here.)

 

Remember to check out the SYpherSights Youtube channel for more concert videos.

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