Ace and the whole

Looking ahead to next week’s Under Pressure / Cult MTL co-presentation of the Beaux Degats art battle and show feat. Masta Ace, Wordsworth, Toronto’s Citizen Kane and MTL’s own L.E.S. (among others) PLUS this week in hip hop, from Heart Streets and the Hiram Key Project to Action Bronson and Sweatshop Union.

You know when you go to a show and the host prattles on unintelligibly forever and ever and you just wish a band would come on? Well, I’ll try not to do that next Wednesday at Cult MTL’s co-presentation of Masta Ace, Wordsworth and Stricklin’ at Foufounes Electriques.

It would be a misnomer to call this “our” show, because we have the sincerely great fortune to be teaming up with Under Pressure in helping bring the NYC underground hip hop pioneers to town. UP has always brought that little extra, whether at the annual weekend-long graffiti festival it is founded on, or at shows like these, which some will recall were once damn near monthly and brought the likes of J-Zone, tha Liks, Slum Village, Atmosphere and many more greats for low-ball prices in the name of just getting people out. Those were memorable parties. I expect no less now, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this incredible organization.

The night jumps off with an UP-patented Beaux Degats Art Battle, also at Foufs, from 7 p.m., with the show getting underway at 11 p.m. Touring with Ace and co. are a couple of cool supporting acts from Toronto, namely Citizen Kane, and Cult MTL brings you Montreal’s own Johnny Illdigger and L.E.S. to round out the bill.

I am majorly excited because I’ve never actually hosted a show before and have always kinda seen myself up there. I’ll do my best not to be “that guy” and to bring a lil’ of that Shine flair to my banter, but I better see all you lovely readers out there cheering us on!

I’ll make it easy for a couple of you right now: the first person to email me the title of their favourite Masta Ace track gets in free, with a friend. Stay tuned to Cult MTL’s Facebook and Twitter this week for giveaways as well, but if you don’t luck out, we made it easy for you to attend: $10 before 9 p.m., so you can check out the paint battle, and $15 bucks after if you roll on hip hop time.

There is a lotta competition for your hip hop dollar over the next couple of weeks, but I suggest to you that our event embodies the elements in the most complete way (short of breakers, I realize), and will leave you satisfied that your time and money are well spent, with no unpleasant surprises or 4 a.m. taxis — unless you like to party that hard on a Wednesday, of course.

So wish me luck, mark your calendar and get ready. Here’s where you can warm up for it, but save me some of your good energy, please! Oh, and check back Monday for my in-depth Q&A with Masta Ace.

Thursday – The big ticket tonight brings the return of Detroit rap activist Invincible! with Montreal’s A K U A, featured on Cult MTL yesterday, opening up.

Meanwhile, the Hiram Key Project is back for “4” at Cabaret Underworld, with Sev Dee, Todd Smith, UrbN LogiX and many more, with cheap eat provided by Biscuit Boy.

And at CFC, Clarity gets the ants out of his pants with Tony P.

Friday – This was supposed to be all about De La Soul DJ Maseo at Tokyo, but that show is cancelled due to family circumstances with Mase, leaving me sitting on one of the coolest interviews ever until that gets rescheduled…or failing that, until I feel like giving you a present.

But what you can do is hit up Piano Rouge for “a night of galactic, cosmic space funk” with Jahsun’s Dark Matter, featuring Mark Haynes, Caulder Nash, Conn-Shawnery and several other seasoned players. They aren’t frontin’ with that descriptor — I saw them once in broad daylight outside and coulda swore I was on something resembling the Mothership. My homegirl Sugarface Nene holds it down on the wheels, too.

Then again, you can have Beats, Blunts and Broads as local duo Heart Streets (featured in this month’s print issue of Cult MTL) launch their so-titled EP at Cabaret du Mile End with a limited number of physical copies available to complement the free downloadable EP out now.

Saturday – Sure to pack out le Belmont is NYC indie rap boss Action Bronson. His affinity for food, weed and Nubian women is well documented at this point, so I will simply say that if you haven’t got a ticket yet, you probably should get on that. I smell a sold-out Belmont.

Shit outta luck? I had a great time guesting with Mayday Malone at her weekly Please Me party at Salon Officiel two weeks back and can’t wait to do it again, but this week’s honour goes to guest Habit.

Sunday – Announced this week, B.C.’s Sweatshop Union make an impromptu appearance at le Belmont. These guys aren’t really my cup of mushroom tea, but they definitely grind hard and have the fanbase to show for it, so it’s cool to see them make it out here for a fairly rare live appearance. Can-rap contemporaries Pigeon Hole are also on the bill.

Tuesday – Local hip hop outfit the Journeymen unleash a free EP along their travels towards a full-length to drop this summer, but meanwhile this short jaunt should be a good getaway.

Wednesday – Did I mention you’re going to Masta Ace? Don’t forget that contest! ■


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