Masta, Mook, Kalmunity & the hip hop fest

Recovering from this week’s Under Pressure/Cult MTL co-pro and the local media’s circle jerk over a little metro booze-up, PLUS Kalmunity turns 10 and the Festival Hip Hop de Montréal takes over.

What a difference a day makes. The Shine is coming at you a day late this week, so I can report back on the Masta Ace show Cult MTL co-presented with Under Pressure at Foufs the other night — it was bangin’! Great art battle beforehand, great crowd, great music all night long. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be on board with UP, and I want to thank them again for the show as we get ready for more.

Also, if you’ve been reading the papers, listening to the radio or watching TV, you’ll see our friends at Mook Life have taken it to the next level of glorified public misbehaviour. The funny thing about all this, to me, is the levels of spin at play. The obvious problem — that metro security sucks — is taking a comfortable back seat to this “kids-running-wild” narrative that only proves the mainstream media would rather shock you with pictures than facts.

I actually heard one local pundit allude to The Warriors. Yeah — that’s what the Orange Line Derby was about, sure. It wasn’t a publicity stunt, and so The Gazette shouldn’t feel even remotely played by the fact that they had a pic of one of the next biggest talents in the city accompanying the online version of their coverage.

I’m not the values police, and neither is anyone else. You can applaud or denounce the Mooks, but what you can’t do is pretend that all this attention isn’t just an excuse to get people (who apparently otherwise wouldn’t have even noticed) upset about something with a little more edge than all that buttoned-down corruption and embezzlement nonsense.

All it really reveals is that we can, in fact, expect more shit to collapse around us. The values have long since broken down. If you can’t see the link between the white-collar criminals upstairs and the people breaking lobby windows downstairs, you aren’t paying attention to the right details. You wanna help fix the infrastructure? Start with the foundations. The real threats to our city don’t have time for drunken metro rides.

But it’s not all hard times; a lot of it’s bless. There is a serious amount of crazy live show biz about to go down around Montreal, but instead of the usual listings, I would like to highlight two big events on the calendar this long weekend.

Kalmunity Vibe Collective begins celebrating 10 years of illness ‘n’ improv at Cabaret du Mile End on Saturday. I had a really great talk with KVC founder Jahsun the other day, which was at once eye-opening and levelling. I have spoken to several individual members over time, and the amount of respect and devotion they show to Jahsun particularly was something he quite humbly took in stride as a man with a continually evolving vision for how to make it happen and get it done in this town. That single conversation — our first actual interview, as it happened — will help make me a better reporter, and that’s not some “happy birthday” butt-kissing. That’s what his vision, energy and experience instills in people, and that is why Kalmunity at 10 can still celebrate youth and growth along with accomplishment and achievement. Huge love and congratulations to the entire KVC network, and thank you for giving us something to get extra-excited about this year! Expect artist features and special coverage on Cult MTL over the months ahead.

Now on to the madness, as the Festival Hip Hop de Montréal is ’bout to take over the long weekend, and while there are enough bodies to rock every party in town this weekend regardless, decisions must be made.

Tonight, I am in for Talib Kweli and his live band at Club Soda. Funny, Kweli is the rapper I have seen perform the most live, and under every type of circumstance: headlining, opening, in smalls clubs, in an arena, indoors, outdoors, in his hometown of NYC with a room full of famous rappers, with Mos Def and Hi Tek and without, but never, ever with a live band. His relationship to his Montreal fanbase is beyond compare to any other rapper of his stature, and so this is gonna be extra special, personally. Bonus: Ceas Rock and Koriass set it off.

Keep it movin’ at Cabaret Underworld for the official afterparty with Agua Negra, Ghetto Youths and Payz Play Supa Deejayz.

Saturday night Manu Militari takes over Soda, and Sunday night a huge bill of franco MCs settle in there for the all-ages MTLFHH Rap d’Icitte showcase.

That said, the grown-ups might care to find themselves at Cabaret Underworld for Cormega and Large Professor, a show about as rare as the second coming.

And Monday, if you still got it in you, the fest shuts shit down at Underworld with California’s Pac Div in the building with hometown support from Borden, SRH, Antiheroes and DJ Manifest.

If someone thinks you’re dead for three days after all that, don’t be surprised. With that in mind, see you next Thursday with a return to regular format. Also, our April print issue is out that day from somewhere outside the cosmos, and we’re told it contains a variety of loops, lazers and local intel for a season of rebirth. ■


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