With a steady stream of shows from touring artists coming through Toronto, it can be easy to overlook regularly recurring local hip hop nights. Weeklies or monthlies, showcase performances or DJ parties, if you want to immerse yourself in hip hop music you're sure to find something that suits your style. While a ton of recurring, one-off, and irregular nights are popping up in the city all the time, here are the top 5 local hip hop nights in Toronto - and when to hit them up next.
Itzsoweezee | November 30th | Drake Underground
This collective fully embraces how hip hop has evolved to absorb certain elements of electronic music. You'll hear a blend of genres at their events: rap, trap, EDM, house and anything in between. More than just a group of promoters, Itzoweezee's team consists of DJs, producers, photographers, bloggers, and more. They throw events in different venues around the city, but this Saturday they're at Drake Underground with DJ Soundbwoy, Thugli's Tom Wrecks, Demiggs & ΛV. They will be selling limited edition t-shirts to help raise money for the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort.
Never Forgive Action | December 7th | Drake Underground (1st Saturday of every month)
Established in 2004, Never Forgive Action is more than just a monthly dance party to a soundtrack filled with hip hop classics. Organized by the same names behind Toronto's faction of Hip Hop Karaoke, the night has become very well respected and has previously featured sets from Prince Paul, Jazzy Jay, DJ Evil Dee, and Skratch Bastid. The next edition, on December 7th, features special guest DJ Riccachet alongside residents DJs Numeric and Dalia.
Big Mic TO | December 11th | Clintons (monthly)
In the 3rd year since their inception in Brampton Big Mic have skipped around a few different venues in Toronto. They currently call Clinton's Tavern home. Similarly to Big Ticket, this night provides a platform for independent artists to showcase their talents. Nights like these are vital for the local scene, giving artists a place to sharpen their mic skills and promote their craft. Although the lineup has yet to be announced for their next show, it's safe to assume that you'll be able to discover some new emerging talent.
Big Ticket | December 13th | Velvet Underground (2nd Friday of every month)
If you need a spot to mingle with the local hip hop community, you're likely to find artists and industry reps at Velvet Underground on the 2nd Friday of every month. An evening usually consists of showcases from both new comers and veterans, as well as music video screenings. Host Dan-e-o and DJ Law make sure to keep things moving during the transitions between acts. December's edition features a headlining performance from rapper King Jus and MPC guru Fresh Kils to celebrate the release of their Work Hard EP.
Hip Hop Karaoke | December 20th | Revival (3rd Friday of every month)
If you haven't caught wind of the phenomenon that Hip Hop Karaoke has become, you need to take it in asap. These events have become staples in a few different cities, including New York, Vancouver and Montreal. Pick an available song from a list and sign up in advance of the evening to deliver their performance. The night is always well attended and you can tell that a lot of participants take it very seriously, sometimes even incorporating synchronized movements into their show. Come correct!
Photo via Big Ticket's Facebook
by Markit via blogTO