Top 8 Most Anticipated Hip-Hop Concerts Hitting Toronto This Summer (2022)

With the impacts of COVID-19 dying down, it looks like live concerts are making a consistent return to Toronto this summer! We’ve gotten through the spring with most shows going ahead as planned, and it’s looking like there won’t be a need for rescheduling and refunds going forward (fingers crossed). Here is a look at my picks for the Top 8 must-see Hip-Hop shows coming to the city! Keep in mind, this is written as of May 30th – there are bound to be more shows announced after this is posted.

In chronological order:

8. Shad at Longboat Hall
(June 16, 2022)

You can always count on Shad to bless Toronto with a live performance at least once a year. Releasing his seventh album in late 2021, TAO, Shad has been out on tour all spring to promote it, hitting cities throughout Canada and USA, and will be returning to Toronto for the second-last show of the tour at Longboat Hall. If you missed your chance to see him rock the stage with Skratch Bastid at CityView Drive-In last year, here is another shot to see him perform this new batch of songs live! Peep the bars:

Click here to grab tickets to this show!

7. Connect The Dot 2022 Finals (TBA)
(July – TBA)

Celebrating their eighth year, Connect The Dot is back on tour searching for Canada’s sharpest emcees. They’ll be hitting major Ontario markets as usual, plus new this year heading out west to a couple cities out of Province for their tournament-style showcases. Local emcees from each region will get to perform live in front of a panel of guest judges headed by Canadian Hip-Hop legend Saukrates, and it will culminate in a final round with the winners of each region competing against each other, to be hosted sometime in July. The Toronto showcase just passed, but they’ll be returning once finalists are announced in each city.

In addition to the tournament, there will be performances by Saukrates himself, along with 2018’s Connect The Dot champion Young Stitch and special guest Dre Specz. Connect The Dot is all about embracing the competitive spirit of Hip-Hop and finding which emcees can rock the mic in a live setting with no gimmicks. This one is for the local talent!

Follow @ConnectTheDotTV on Facebook and Instagram for updates!

6. Joey Bada$$ at REBEL
(July 3, 2022)

After making some waves in television and film these past few years, it looks like Joey Bada$$ is ready to come back to music in a big way this year. He’s announced a new album called 2000, presumably a sequel to his long celebrated mixtape 1999, to be released just as he embarks on a summer tour. Dubbed The 1999-2000 Tour, it’s looking to be both a celebration of the ten-year anniversary of 1999, as well a tour to promote the new album just as it drops. It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since Joey Bada$$ dropped what many might call a classic mixtape, and with plenty of day-one fans in Toronto, this is sure to be a hype show!

Click here to grab tickets to this show!

5. Rage Against The Machine & Run The Jewels at Scotiabank Arena
(July 21 & 23, 2022)

It’s been over two years since Rage Against The Machine announced their reunion tour, and with multiple reschedules due to COVID-19, it looks like they’re finally able to hit the road safely. They may not be a Hip-Hop group in the traditional sense, but there is a heavy Hip-Hop influence behind this iconic band. Similar to what RATM did in the ’90s, Run The Jewels have been providing high-energy protest music throughout the past decade, in a time where the fight for social justice has been stronger than ever. Combining the two energies of these groups on stage will make for an intense performance, especially given their collaborations in recent years. Run The Jewels will finally get to celebrate their 2020 album RTJ4 with their Toronto fans, and Rage Against The Machine are sure to bring all their ’90s classics as they rock Scotiabank Arena for two nights.

Click here to get tickets to the July 21st show or here for the July 23rd show!

4. Nas at Toronto’s Festival of Beer
(July 22, 2022)

Another major show that’s been delayed two years due to the pandemic, Nas was supposed to headline the 2020 edition of Toronto’s Festival of Beer, where he would have been building up the hype for what would later become his first Grammy award-winning album, King’s Disease. He’s since gone on to release 2021’s King’s Disease II, earning another Grammy nomination, and capped off last year with his sixteenth album, Magic. The Hip-Hop legend has a lot to celebrate, and what better platform than Toronto’s Festival of Beer, an annual festival known to celebrate iconic artists with longevity. As always, Bandshell Park will be filled with dozens of beer tents with breweries from around the world pouring samples, all before an epic Hip-Hop show takes the stage.

Head over to BeerFestival.ca to get tickets, they have multiple concerts all weekend!

3. Freddie Gibbs at The Danforth Music Hall
(August 4, 2022)

Freddie Gibbs has been on an incredible run with his most recent releases, and it’s about time he gets to celebrate his latest albums with fans north of the border. Since the last time he was here, he released arguably the best album of his career, 2019’s Bandana with Madlib, then in 2020 had the Grammy-nominated Alfredo with The Alchemist, and is now getting ready for the rollout of a new album called Soul Sold Separately coming later this year. For an emcee in his prime, Gangsta Gibbs has the momentum is on his side as he’s about to rock the biggest venue he’s done in Toronto yet, and will definitely have the Danforth bouncing.

Click here to get tickets to this show!

2. Kendrick Lamar at Scotiabank Arena
(August 12 & 13, 2022)

These days whenever Kendrick Lamar drops a new album, it’s bound to be one of the biggest albums of the year regardless of genre, and to come with one of the biggest concert tours of the year. With it being five years since his last album, the anticipation is even higher, as fans have been starved for new music from Kendrick until the recent release of his new double-album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. With so much new music to unpack from the lyrically dense project, fans are sure to pick up new tidbits and gain a new appreciation for these songs when they hear them live. Not to mention Kendrick will be joined by some guests who make key features on the new album, Baby Keem and Tanna Leone. 2017’s The DAMN Tour was a major event for the Hip-Hop world, and we’re about to find out if K-Dot can top himself with his return to Scotiabank Arena, performing two back-to-back shows on The Big Steppers Tour.

Click here to get tickets for the August 12th show and here for the August 13th show.

1. Wu-Tang Clan & Nas at Budweiser Stage
September 4, 2022

We’ve seen the Wu-Tang Clan rock Guvernment nightclub, REBEL nightclub, Downsview Park for Riot Fest, and Echo Beach for MattyFest, but this show right here may be the biggest venue in Toronto they’ve ever performed in, and this is them co-headlining their own tour with Nas rather than being part of an all-day festival. When it comes to Toronto concert venues, this is as big as you can get without going into the major sports arenas, where the sound quality tends to drop. Nas has of course performed here several times over the years, most recently co-headlining with Mary J. Blige in 2019 and Lauryn Hill in 2017, but with this dubbed The NY State of Mind Tour, you get a sense that this show will be more geared towards the hardcore Hip-Hop heads rather than a blend of Hip-Hop & RnB. Fans of classic Hip-Hop and hardcore Hip-Hop cannot miss this one.

Click here to get tickets to this show!

Which concerts are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

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