It’s hipster Christmas! Or at any rate, starting today, time for Pop Montreal again. Last week, I focused on some smaller fest highlights. This week, I have a mix of big names, locals and a special feature on the inaugural Pop-affiliated Icon hip hop festival, also taking place this weekend.
Tonight, there’s a mean double-header featuring California’s Dam-Funk and Brooklyn, NY rising rap star Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire. Under ordinary circumstances I’d say they make strange bedfellows, but Pop is good at the mix-n-match showcase. Also on the bill are les Anticipateurs and Yacht Club. (Mission Santa Cruz, 60 Rachel W.)
Thursday’s hip hop hot spot is actually a Vice party you’ll have to RSVP to attend, and trust me, you will want to, as NYC teen upstart Joey Bada$$ meets Three 6 mafioso Juicy J and DJ Illo with host DL Jones for a Greezy Steez party. (Cabaret du Mile End, 5240 Parc)
Friday is one of Pop’s illest billings of 2012, with the Bay Area’s Based God himself, Lil B, bringing his weird word vibrations and 2,000-track catalogue to Montreal for the first time ever. He shares the stage with local legend-in-the-making Lunice, and Montreal’s most famous Edmontonian Cadence Weapon reps up with a DJ set. (Club Soda, 1225 St-Laurent)
Saturday is just plain big. Big K.R.I.T., that is. Hard to say what the Mississippi man does best, production or rhymes, but his shows are great, and his recent Def Jam debut, Live From the Underground, is pretty much the finest thing in rap music this year, so don’t miss him. Openers Slim Thug and Big Sant gettin’ trill for this. (Club Soda, 1225 St-Laurent)
SHINE ON: Sarah MK
Sunday night, Pop comes to a close with a local talent whose cool currency has gained value with every move she’s made since releasing her debut, Worth It, last fall. She more or less took over the Jazz Fest this year, all the while holding it down with her Kalmunity family and generally just doin’ her thing, which seems to be a lotta people’s thing, the more and more you hear her name mentioned. The album, if you still haven’t had the chance to hear it, is stunning. Catch her with my homegirl DJ Sugarface Nene (CJLO), Elsiane and La Bronze for an all-girl-everything jam at Club Lambi (4465 St-Laurent) from 8 p.m.
FEATURED VIDEO: Ain’t No Love, “Shine”
This TO/MTL hybrid combines the luxury production of Love Thy Brother with the MC talents of Roly Broere and Elias McBean and the powerful soul pipes of Saidah Bowen, the latter three having once been known as boom-bap rap outfit WrabeanZ. Their current outfit, Ain’t No Love, has been earning accolades at home and abroad thanks to word of mouth, shows and a sick indie EP that will be followed early next year with a more formal debut. For lavish good times, check them out with Jacob Lusk & the R. Kelly Allstars (a freakshow unto itself) and AKUA on Saturday at la Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent).
ICON 2012 SUPPLEMENT:
Meanwhile, as the Poppers pop, the breakneck ruggedness of this two-day, Onyx-organized hip hop festival should not be overlooked by fans of rowdy, raunchy, hollerin’ rap shit.
ICON takes place Thursday and Friday night at le Belmont (4483 St-Laurent). Round one matches TO’s JD Era up with Liknuts (the Beatnuts and Alkaholiks, in one convenient 40 bottle) and Coka Nostranomer and Non-Phixioneer Ill Bill headlining.
The second night, Apathy & Celph Titled bring more of that New Yawk raw to the table with one of the grimiest ever, R.A. the Rugged Man. Canadians Bishop Brigante and Snak tha Ripper join the nefarious Onyx to get 100MAD — the crew Onyx is building, with this festival as one of its blocks. Hopefully we’ll see this become annual…or semi-annual…or quarterly. Bring it on. Let’s turn this whole damn city into a non-stop festival!
Regular nightly listings will return next week. I think we’re good for now. That said, when Pop ends, we got way more on the horizon already, so play smart and see ya at a show, kids. ■