Top 10 Upcoming Hip-Hop Concerts to see in Toronto This Summer (2019)

It’s that time again! The weather is warming up, and Toronto is about to be ripe with music festivals, nightclub shows, and outdoor concerts. As we always do, we’re counting down our top 10 picks of must-see shows for Hip-Hop fans in the GTA!

In chronological order:

10. Madchild & Stevie Stone at The Rockpile
(May 18, 2019)

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Madchild at The Rockpile Oct. 2017

It’s always a good time whenever Vancouver’s own Madchild returns to town, and this time he’s bringing along Strange Music’s Stevie Stone for The Strange Noize Tour. While Madchild tours through Canada frequently and typically performs at The Rockpile at least once a year, this will just be Stevie Stone’s second time performing in Toronto after he opened for Tech N9ne on the 2017 Strange Reign Tour. Besides the rare opportunity to see Strange’s raspy vocalist and emcee perform, this will also be Toronto fans’ first chance to see Madchild perform new material off his most recent album released this past April, Demons. Add to that a stacked lineup of local artists, and you have yourself another classic night for hardcore Hip-Hop that only The Rockpile can pull off.

Tickets for this show are available here.

 

9. Snoop Dogg at Rebel Nightclub
(May 20, 2019)

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The legendary Snoop Dogg is out on tour in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his classic debut album, DoggystyleJoined by Warren G and Tha Dogg Pound, Snoop & friends will be taking the tour up to Huntsville on Sunday, May 19th, and will come down to Toronto to perform at Rebel Nightclub on Victoria Day Monday. It’s rare that we get to see Snoop perform in Toronto, in a smaller nightclub as opposed to a large stadium show, and joined by all these special guests and frequent collaborators. With them all focused on giving Doggystyle the classic celebration it deserves, this is not a show Hip-Hop heads will want to miss out on!

Tickets for the Huntsville show are available here and the Rebel Nightclub show here.

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

 

8. Choclair & Bishop Brigante at The Rec Room in Mississauga
(May 25, 2019)

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Choclair at The Opera House Nov. 2018

This year The Rec Room opened up a second location in the GTA, at the Square One mall in Mississauga. While the new food, gaming and entertainment complex has been open for several months now, this will be their first notable Hip-Hop showcase, with Toronto veterans Choclair and Bishop Brigante performing in their club/lounge area. While we saw the two emcees perform at The Opera House late last year, this performance will be a bit more special, as Choclair will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of his classic, Juno award-winning debut album, Ice Cold. If you haven’t been able to check out the Rec Room yet and you love Canadian Hip-Hop, this is a perfect opportunity to celebrate Toronto excellence with one of the city’s legends.

Tickets for this show are available here.

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

 

7. Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals at Echo Beach
(June 1, 2019)

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Anderson .Paak at the 2016 Manifesto Festival

Anderson .Paak is having himself a year. After performing a sold-out show at Rebel Nightclub back in February, he went on to release his second album in less than six months, Ventura, and is already back on another tour with his band, The Free Nationals. He’ll have plenty of new material to perform, both off of Ventura, which was given for free to fans who bought a ticket first-hand, and 2018’s Oxnard for fans who weren’t able to see him at the Rebel show. With Anderson .Paak’s fun blend of Hip-Hop, Soul and Funk, there’s a reason this concert is sold-out and going for near double the price on second-hand markets. The Free Nationals have a way of getting people to dance, and with the party happening on a beach in warm June weather, it will be a night of fun summer vibes!

Check your scalpers for tickets, or get verified Ticketmaster resale tickets here.

 

6. Toronto’s Festival of Beer at Bandshell Park
(July 26-28, 2019)

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Method Man & Redman at TFOB 2017

The 2019 edition of Toronto’s Festival of Beer may have the most Hip-Hop representation the annual event has ever had. After extending it to four days last year, the weekend-long festival has been cut back to three days again, with Friday still being the night for Hip-Hop heads. As usual, there will be hundreds of beers available to sample throughout beautiful Bandshell Park, and the musical lineup is absolutely stacked this year, including Toronto legend Michie Mee, members of Boot Camp Clik including Rock of Heltah Skeltah (R.I.P. Sean Price), Smith-N-Wesson and Black Moon, Philly legend DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Wu-Tang’s dynamic duo Raekwon & Ghostface Killah. They’ll all be opening for Public Enemy (minus Flava Flav), who are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their classic album It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back.

If classic Hip-Hop isn’t your thing, there will also be the Hip-Hop & RnB duo of Ja Rule & Ashanti taking it back to the early 2000’s on the Sunday night of the festival, with Saturday still dedicated to Rock music with Toronto band Dwayne Gretzky headlining.

With every flavour and style of beer available, fans just need to pick their flavour of music – tickets for all three nights are available at beerfestival.ca!

 

5. Beast Coast at Echo Beach
(Aug. 12, 2019)

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Nyck Caution, Joey Bada$$ & Kirk Knight at Time Festival 2016

The Beast Coast crew are a younger generation of artists that are building on the foundations similar crews like the Wu-Tang Clan, Boot Camp Clik, and D.I.T.C. built before them. From their rap and production styles to their music videos, they show an appreciation and respect for Hip-Hop culture and its history. The new supergroup is a fusion of already established groups from Brooklyn, including The Underachievers, Flatbush Zombies, and their biggest star Joey Bada$$ along with some of his Pro Era crew. They already have plenty of collaborations together with features on each others’ albums, and are set to release their debut album united for the first time on May 24, Escape From New York. The anticipation is high, and this one is bound to be hype!

Tickets for this show are available here.

 

4. Journey Cannabis & Music Festival at Boyd Conservation Park
(Aug. 23-25, 2019)59842217_367571763867834_7093692076268716032_o

Toronto is getting its very first cannabis music festival, taking place at Boyd Conservation Park up in Vaughan. The Journey Festival is set to have all the ingredients of a fun music festival: plenty of good food, beer, live music, and activities, all happening at a nice outdoor location on a weekend in the middle of summer. The new things it brings to the table that we haven’t typically seen at most music festivals is the cannabis inclusion; there will be a speaker series educating on cannabis throughout the weekend, and fans will be allowed to bring a limited amount of their own supply to smoke freely & legally without being harassed. The musical lineup has yet to be announced, but with the way Hip-Hop has impacted and influenced the advocacy for legalization over the past 40+ years, it would only be right for it to have good representation at this festival.

For info, updates, and tickets, check out JourneyFestival.ca or follow @JourneyFestival on Facebook.

 

3. Nas & Mary J. Blige at Budweiser Stage
(Sept. 10, 2019)

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Nas at Budweiser Stage Sept. 2017

Almost exactly two years after Nas blessed the Budweiser Stage with a concert he co-headlined alongside Lauryn Hill, he’s set to return on another tour with another RnB legend, Mary J. Blige. This one is bound to be a journey through the years, as both of these artists are legends in their respective genres, each having released 12 solo albums dating back to the early 90’s. Besides the string of classic material of the 1990’s & 2000’s they have to go through, they both have new albums they could pull from for the first time in Toronto, with Nas’ NASIR (2018) album and MJB’s Strength of a Woman (2017). Similar to how Nas & Ms. Hill went back and forth sharing the stage, it will be interesting to see the transitions he’ll have with MJB, as the two have had a few more collaborations together over the years, from 1997’s “Love Is All We Need” to 2019’s “Thriving.”

Tickets for this show are available here.

 

2. Lizzo at The Danforth Music Hall & Budweiser Stage
(May 16 & Sept. 19, 2019)

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Lizzo at the 2017 NXNE Port Lands Festival

Lizzo is blowing up right before our eyes! Remembering her perform in front of a modestly sized crowd at the low-selling 2017 NXNE Port Lands Festival and then seeing what she’s doing two years later, she’s had a major boost in her career. This year she released her debut major-label album on Atlantic Records (third overall), Cuz I Love You, and is going on two tours to promote it. This week she’s performing at a sold-out Danforth Music Hall, but for those who couldn’t acquire a ticket, she’ll be returning in September for a second show, initially booked at Rebel Nightclub but moved to the larger Budweiser Stage after selling out quickly. The Minnesota artist is becoming a world-class entertainer with her fusion of rap & soul, and is having the biggest year of her career to date, with this show at Budweiser set to be her largest in Toronto!

Tickets for her show at Budweiser Stage are still available here.

 

1. The Connect The Dot Tournament
(???)

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Saipher Soze at Connect The Dot On A Yacht Sept. 2018

Connect The Dot surprised us last year by showing that a lineup of all local emcees can make for one of the best shows of the year. Toronto may be known as the “screwface capital” for the way it lacks support for its local emcees, but Connect The Dot continues to grow and bring the city’s Hip-Hop community together, providing a platform for healthy competition amongst the GTA’s best emcees. The tournament is set to go on tour throughout the GTA this summer, finding local emcees to perform their songs for a chance to move on to the final round and win a career-building prize pack. Toronto legends like Saukrates and Organik have judged the showcases in previous years, but we still don’t know much about what will be in store for the 2019 tournament.

Dates and locations are going to be announced in the near future; follow @ConnectTheDotTV on Instagram for more info and to sign up if you want to compete!

 

 

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