Lucky for fans of hip-hop residing in this grey city, the most memorable thing about Thursday night was not the bone-chillingly cold weather outside, but rather the warmth of a crowd riled up by some of the best underground rap this continent has to offer.
It took some time for the crowd to assemble for the late show at Fortune Sound Club, with people still nervously sipping drinks and engaging in stare-offs across the dance floor well past 11p.m. Openers Whole Wheat Bread, a punk and hip-hop fusion group from Jacksonville, Fla., did their best to get the crowd going. These boys have potential, sure, but this particular flavour of “punk-crunk” tasted fairly sour. Either the beats should have hit harder or their rhymes should have flowed more smoothly. As it was, these boys didn’t bring a whole lot to the stage.
The self-proclaimed “hardest working rapper” in the underground game, MURS, left the crowd glowing as he spit tracks sampled from across his discography. Highlights included the obvious: “H-U-S-T-L-E,” “L.A.,” “D.S.W.G. (Dark Skinned White Girls),” the esoteric Felt track “Dirty Girl” and “Walk Like an Egyptian,” which found MURS backed by Whole Wheat Bread. This set was tight.
Black Milk closed the show, delivering a solid set. Tracks were sampled from 2007’s Popular Demand right through to his most recent release, Album of the Year. Milk was mesmerizing and a treat to see for the second time in six months. All in all, the crowd left late and elated, too buzzed off the treat of a true hip-hop show to care about facing the cold outside.