Around the way

Budget wisely for hip hop shows ahead, from Masta Ace at Foufs later this month to Please Me at Salon Officiel this Saturday to a hip hop festival coming on strong in its second year. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Last week I sorta teased and taunted you with the promise of upcoming shows, and now I feel like a bastard for not just spilling the beans. Not that there any huge secrets, but since some pretty high-end shows are coming to town over the course of the next month, I’ll line them up for you now. Even in this era of non-stop promotional bombardment, far too often I still hear, “Man! So-and-so was in town?!? How come I didn’t know?” Well, it won’t be my damn fault!

Sadly, I have to start out with some bummer news. Last week I got you all geeked for a Blackstreet show. As it turns out, no giggity — the show has been postponed. Stay tuned for a new date.

De La Soul’s DJ Maseo — that’s Plug Three, in Daisy-speak — won’t set you back more than a fin when he hits the booth at Tokyo on March 22 as part of the club’s 15th anniversary series. I had the great privilege of speaking to this hip hop architect last week and will bring you the goods on Cult MTL closer to the date.

The following night, indie rap heavyweight Action Bronson returns for an evening with his adoring Montreal fanbase at le Belmont. I’m like the only person I know who doesn’t love the guy, so while I am mildly curious to see how he handles that girth live, a lotta you have already clicked elsewhere to get tickets.

So don’t blame me if you haven’t heard about the return of Festival Hip Hop de Montréal, which got off the ground last year with a series of shows that, while a little scattered across the calendar, brought the likes of Mos Def to town. This year it all takes place over Easter weekend, with a great mix of French and English, local and international, style and substance. See their info for full listings, times and venues, but think on headliners Talib Kweli (with a live band), Masta Killa, Pac Div and Booba and get your money straight.

It just don’t stop, either, ’cause Easter Monday brings a rare appearance from hip hop icons Cormega and Large Professor to le Belmont.

Before all that, though — that would be Wednesday, March 27 — I’m real excited to tell you that I’ll be hosting an evening with Masta Ace and Wordsworth at Foufounes Electriques, as Cult MTL teams UP, literally, with the good people at Under Pressure. Expect more news, interviews and contests as the date approaches, but set aside an easy $15 for that now while it’s fresh in your mind.

On a similar-ish note, come say hi at Salon Officiel for this week’s installment of Please Me Saturdays. Rez party-mover Mayday Malone was kind enough not to reject my pitch at guest DJing some night, so I’ll be joining her in the booth, and I’m really looking forward to it despite the fact that I will probably break something.

Friday – Mook Life puts it on after midnight at a TBA venue for Village des Chilleurs, where Tommy Kruise, Vincent Pryce, Tronald Trump and Guilty come alive as the Mook Life Orchestra. Don’t sleep…literally, don’t. It starts at 1 a.m. and goes till the break and beyond.

Wednesday – It just don’t stop for Jai Nitai Lotus, whose Something You Feel record is reaching people across the land and shows no signs of letting up. He brings the project to life, backed by some of the city’s finest live players, at Divan Orange and invites you to experience the feeling in HD, with opener Krystale. ■

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