The top hip hop shows in Toronto this summer range from BBQs to stadium shows. It's hard to believe that June is almost past, but we still have two of the hottest months of the year to soak up. In that time there are plenty of options when it comes to seeing live hip hop events - you could go check legends from the 90s, present day superstars, or newcomers on the scene at venues ranging from small clubs to full on festivals.
Here are my picks for the top hip hop shows in Toronto this summer.
RAKIM / THE PHEONIX CONCERT THEATRE / JULY 4 / 8PM / $35.00
Celebrate Independence Day NY-style with Long Island lyrical legend Rakim. Although he hasn't put out any new music for a minute, he can still captivate a crowd with his unmatched flow, deep lyricism and undeniable breath control. On the scene since 1986, Nas and Snoop note him as an influence, and he even wrote the theme song for Juice. He has bars on bars that will take you back to the golden era of hip-hop. With local support from MPC master Fresh Kils, Robbie G, 12th Letter, and many more, this show is sure to move the crowd.
BASTID'S BBQ / 302 QUEEN WEST / JULY 5 / 3PM / $15.00
This is the BBQ to rule all BBQ's. Skratch Bastid teams up with Red Bull, Hennessy and Belvedere to present his annual BBQ party featuring special guest Tony Touch (NYC), Starting From Scratch, Rich Kidd, Wrist-pect, up and coming hip-hop/house producer Jesse Futerman and more. The best part: It's all going down in a parking lot on Queen West & Peter from 3-11pm. What better way to spend a Saturday then hanging with Bastid and the homies while chompin' and vibin' on some choice cuts? Not in Toronto? Bastid's BBQ is cooking coast to coast this year, with stops in Halifax, Calgary, and Vancouver.
ON THE RUN TOUR (JAY Z & BEYONCE) / ROGERS CENTRE / JULY 9 / 8PM / TICKETS
Rumour has it that this '14 Bonnie and Clyde event is the tour of the summer. According to Consequence of Sound, the set spans 42-songs, features outfits upon outfits, and is sure to touch on every-era of their careers. They've been paying tribute to MJ and showcasing choice tracks from both Watch The Throne and Beyonce. Need I say more? Check the intro to the concert series from when they kicked off the tour in Miami.
FUTURE / SOUND ACADEMY / JULY 11 / 8PM / 36.50 + fees
This 25 year-old Atlanta singer/ rapper has been making moves and collaborating with the best of the best in the biz. Dropping his second album this past April and now headlining his first North American tour, Future is joined on stage by Rico Love and Que. With album guest appearances by Andre 3000, Drake, Kanye, Pharrell, Wiz, Wayne & more, it's hard to say how Future will translate the immensity of each track live, but maybe, just maybe, we'll see a special guest in real life... or maybe Ciara?! Who wouldn't settle for that? Honest.
YUNG LEAN & SAD BOYS / INFINIT6 @ THE HOXTON / JULY 13 / 8PM / $20.00
Yung Lean & Sad Boys hit Toronto this summer in a slew of North American tour dates for the first time after a sold out European tour. This Swedish rapper and his crew were all born between 1995-1996 and spit emotional raps about everything from Pokemon to Windows screensavers. The Black Marble Tour is perfect for those of you looking for something different in the Toronto hip-hop scene this summer.
WELCOME TO DILLAVILLE TOUR W/ SLUM VILLAGE / ROCKPILE WEST / JULY 19 / 8PM / $38.00
A tribute to the legendary J Dilla, the Welcome to Dillaville Tour features Bizzare Ride Live (Fatlip and Slimkid3 of the Pharcyde), Slum Village and local support from Ill Shaddai, Gene One, Ozee Grasman, In Tha Kut & Harbor Sharks. There will also be a special J Dilla museum presenting his original studio set-up, offering a glimpse into the hip-hop history that is J Dilla's life. 16+ and licensed, this is an event for hip-hop lovers old and new. Grab your tickets at Play De Record, Soundscapes, Rotate This, or Ticketweb.
UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MUSIC TOUR (WIZ KHALIFA, YOUNG JEEZY, TYGA) / MOLSON CANADIAN AMPHITHEATRE / JULY 29 / TICKETS
This line up is stacked. Between Jeezy preaching that Thug Motivation, Tyga throwing twenties in the air and DJ Drama bringing the heat, this night will be captivating. Wiz has a solid team to smoke with on this one. You can expect some serious posse cuts - from Sage the Gemini x Iamsu on "Gas Pedal," and Wiz x Iamsu with "Goin' Up," some classic Wiz, and of course the new hits like Ty Dolla $ign's "Paranoid." It's a good thing this one is outside because you know everybody will be puffing away at the fresh Toronto breezes.
OVO FEST (DRAKE, OUTKAST & MORE) / MOLSON CANADIAN AMPHITHEATRE / AUGUST 3 & 4 / 7PM / TICKETS
This event was sold out within 30 minutes. If you don't have a ticket, hopefully you've been saving up and checking daily for those secret tickets online because Drizzy never disappoints his city at this annual banger. Now in its 5th year, Outkast is the featured guest at this Player's Ball on Saturday, August 3rd, while Drake and many others take the stage on Sunday. Just hold on for a bit longer Toronto, he's coming home.
FREEWAY / THE ROCKPILE WEST / AUGUST 16 / 8PM / $25.00 / 16+
Philadelphia legend Freeway aka Phillyfreezer has a flow like none other. Famous for his affiliations with Jay Z and Roc Nation, his collaborative record with veteran G-Unit producer Jake One, and a stint on Cash Money Records, his presence is undeniable. Catch him at Rockpile West with local support from New Guy, Kush, Lipz, Roch, Pillz, CHB, Germz, Don Million, Leff Rakk, and more.
CAM'RON / DANFORTH MUSIC HALL / AUGUST 16 / 8PM / TICKETS
Cam'ron is hitting Canada hard this summer with stacked tour dates from Montreal to Vancouver promoting his first two releases of his First Of The Month EP series in which he will drop an EP at the first of each month for 6 consecutive months. It's been a bit since he's graced us with his presence, and tickets are sure to go quickly.
Thanks to Pure Leaf for sponsoring our summer adventures. For more things to do this summer, check out our Best of Summer page.
What did I miss? Add more hip hop shows to the comments.
by Markit via blogTO