I, for some reason, cannot fully indulge in the experiences shared by white rappers in their music. Something about the music is a little too fabricated and gimmicky — regardless of their personal experiences being undoubtedly valid.
And it was apparent that this past Monday night at Starlight was going to consist of predominately white hip hop artists. However, I still wanted to experience this side of the rap game. I wanted to at least give them a chance.
And apparently so did the crowd of moms in the VIP area.
Beginning the night, was Guelph rapper Robbie G, who despite his personal story about his struggle with the law, could be seen to have taken a couple pages out of the only white rapper to have really gotten the respect of the community, Eminem.
“You get a little more nervous than you were if the shows already cookin’ — you have to be the one to start the party,” said Robbie G.
The one song of his set that stood out the most was perhaps “Rock that Bitch,” which began sounding a bit like a demo of one headliner, Lil Debbie’s songs, but soon picked up pace and became a nice bop.
Next up was Dog Bus, a party band from Waterloo that turned it all the way up. It was evident that the band drew out a large crowd and made great use of the room. By mid-set, I punch-a-wall amped up on their heavy bass and instrumentals and not because I couldn’t understand a single lyric.
Maybe it was the tightening of the crowd towards the stage, but during Dog Bus’ set, there were unique-looking fans rocking the latest ‘hype beat’ fashion which included numerous watches on their wrist. All I needed now was a fast-paced Azealia Banks rap on top of their beats and they would have won the night.
Despite being a hard act to follow, Blaze 1 did try his best to engage the crowd, bringing onstage a hoard of girls who were eager to show off their mesh outfits. Nevertheless, that night they clearly made it.
The group of girls stayed on stage when Demrick, the next artist, came out for his on this never-ending setlist.
The show addressed marijuana culture several times and despite its illegality, multiple joints were being passed around the crowd from the artists which one concert go-er exclaimed tasted like cat shit.
When the stage crew began to inflate a seven-foot tall Crown Royal bottle, I knew the next act was going to be lit.
On came 1 TON from the group Potluck, and from their visuals, I instantly knew this set was going to be a trip.
“I don’t come to Toronto to perform for you. I come to party with you,” he exclaimed to the crowd.
Syrup being poured over pancakes, chickens running on a farm and hallucinogenic visuals made for a great supplement to songs such as “Hashtag,” which was an over-the-top, ridiculous exposé on social media’s power over society.
“You’ve got a fat black guy and Mexican DJ and a white lady headlining. That’s what hip hop’s all about,” said 1 TON.
After nearly three hours of openers, Lil Debbie finally took the stage and I wasn’t sure if my sore feet would still be able to enjoy the set — all I wanted to do was to go get a bacon cheeseburger poutine.
I soon forgot about that when someone from the crowd tossed a lit joint at the five-foot-three rapper. Although a little gimmicky, her songs were still a good bop, getting me to finally shuffle from the outskirts of the concert room closer to the stage.
Truth be told, I didn’t know every word to every song, but it didn’t matter — everyone was transported to a nightclub party as it seemed, as little dance circles formed and new love was sprouting from the seams of drunk twenty-somethings grinding to Debbie’s fun lyrics.
Out of all the songs, the crowd’s reactions to her first release Queen D EP was undeniable. Even for a newer fan, such as myself, I was surprised at the current sound of the EP despite being released over three years ago.
“Ya I love you guys, I do. With that being said, we got two more songs — let’s bang this shit out,” she yelled.
I was, however, let down by the fact that she was only able to perform about the same number of songs as the openers for the night. But all in all, for what it was, I enjoyed myself in a line-up of predominately white hip hop artists. I left Starlight with the knowledge that I could get down to and support the music regardless of race.