The Algonquin Commons Theatre is a fairly elegant venue. Comfortable chairs, a well-sized stage, and crisp sound system provide an ideal setting for, perhaps a theatre production, a school orchestra, or even a professional speaker to discuss politics or motivational behaviour tactics.
But when hosting three Canadian Juno-nominated hip-hop artists for a packed show on a Friday night, those comfortable seats become coat holders, the vacant floor area is quickly filled, and the high-quality speakers are pumping energized hip-hop beats and everyone’s favourite songs. Toronto hip-hop artist JD Era, Vancouver native SonReal, and Halifax born rapper Classified took over the Commons Theatre for a wild and high-energy set.
Juno nominee JD Era started off the evening with an amped up, yet brief set performing tracks from his latest album Barz Vol. 1 and his 2013 Juno nominated album No Handouts. Moving up and down the stage, his Toronto swagger and spirit transferred effortlessly to the Ottawa crowd. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.
If you’ve ever watched a SonReal music video, you can tell the Vancouver native loves what he does. His playful demeanour on and off stage facilitates an energized and spirited concert experience, mixing in humourous banter with his lively set list. The success of his 2015 For the Town EP continues to flourish, and after recently unveiling his latest single “SOHO”, SonReal treated his fans to an exclusive first-listen to the unreleased single “Can I Get A Witness”, both of which will be off his forthcoming release later this year. Stay up to date with SonReal and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
The Boyd family is a musical family: Luke Boyd a.k.a. Classified brought along with him his younger brothers Mike Boyd (who is also a well-known rapper in the Halifax music scene) and Jake Boyd on backing guitars and vocals. Classified released his latest album Greatful back in January, and the East Coaster played through the new album, with a few older tracks and fan-favourites along the way with the help of his family and band. Classified’s undying love for his supporters went an extra mile, as he brought up a fan from the audience to rap and have a drink with him, before encouraging his guest to fly into the crowd for a phenomenal stage dive. Along with the roaring applause and sing-alongs, a select group in the front gave back with a surprise envelope – with a rolled blunt inside. Catch up with Classified and follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and visit his website for the remaining tour dates.