Your guide to hip hop at POP Montreal

Old school rap, new-school R&B, DJ threesomes, soul outreach and more at POP 2014.

shineThere’s a lotta ground to cover from Wednesday through Sunday on the POP Montreal grind, and what follows is a comprehensive look at the events Shine readers will be most interested in. (Check back for a regular Shine column on Thursday, covering the weekend off-POP and the week post-POP.)

Fer chrissake, remember to drink some water this week. And maybe get some gum.

Let’s get down to brass tacks:

Wednesday: APigeon (who, randomly, I met exactly a year ago on day one of POP when her awesome boyfriend expertly enabled me to steal a Bernie Worrell show poster) brings her enchanting “folktronic” rhythms to O Patro Vys, also launching her new video officially. Passwords and Dam Ships share the bill, with VJ Von Judy on visuals. 356 Mont-Royal E., 9 p.m., $10/$12

For something a little trashier, hit TRH Bar for ex-con Chuggo’s aggro-raps, alongside Bearmace, Windpisser and Girl Arm. 3699 St-Laurent, 9:30 p.m., $10

Later, NYC-based, Congolese rapper/producer Young Paris gives the drummer some on his electro rap excursion at Club Balattou, with Antoine 93, L.A. Foster, Light Fires and Thin Gaze. 4372 St-Laurent, 8:30 p.m., $10

Thursday: Back to TRH Bar for a local-meets-national hip hop showcase hosted by DJ Pro-V, showcasing Eman & VLooper, Full Course, Mori$$ Regal & Yerly, TO’s Osyim and Saskatchewan’s Def3 & Factor. I’d co-sign this one any day of the week. 3699 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $10

That said, I’d also make it a point to dip to Petit Campus for the soul outreach of Paul Cargnello, who plays at 10:30 p.m. (Also on the bill are Lakes of Canada, Grand Lark and Megan Bonnell.) 57 Prince-Arthur E., 8:30 p.m., $10/$12

Friday:  Are you ready to shake your rump? I mean really, truly, get down to sounds of science? Can you commit yourself to waking up in the morning with a peculiar feeling, accompanied by the only cop with a rope chain walkin’ the beat?

If you decoded that, then I shouldn’t have to sell you too hard on DJ Food, DJ Cheeba and DJ Moneyshot’s Caught in the Middle of a Three-Way Mix party, a technical reconstruction wherein the Solid Steel DJs pay tribute to the King Tut’s tomb of sampling culture that remains Paul’s Boutique.

I got caught in the middle of a three-way email interview with Strictly Kev, Cheeba and Money that I can’t wait to share later this week. To all the Beastie Boys fans, Ninja Tune fans, diggers/producers and lovers of good music everywhere…to all the Swiss girls…let’s just say I can’t wait to rock this house party at the drop of a hat, at the SAT. DJ Brace and NYC mic checker Soul Kahn open the boutique. 1201 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $25/$30

Saturday: Or, as I’m calling it, “the day I can’t possibly pull off.” Take notes.

My first two suggestions are a talk and a film. From 1 p.m. at POP HQ, festival headliners and Cult MTL cover-girls J.J. Fad sit down for a parlay (or “symposium, in POP-speak) with Houston-based rap journo/historian/agitator Matt Sonzala.

The words “iconic” and “legendary” are bandied about liberally and lazily by hacks like me, but these ladies genuinely blazed trails and then some, charting from the West Coast and earning Grammy nods before anyone ever heard NWA (‘cuz and E and Yella were busy putting up J.J. Fad.) People who care about the roots of rap can’t possibly ask for more. Don’t sleep in.

On the cinematic tip, POP ushers in the Canadian premier of director One9’s Nas: Time Is Illmatic, a retrospective on the impact of the rapper’s truly timeless debut 20 years back now. Period perspectives from Busta, Tip and Nas’ own father inform the doc. Concordia’s J.A. De Sève cinema (1400 de Maisonneuve W.), 8 p.m. sharp, $10

Now that that big, nerdy brain of yours is nourished, let’s run a few dranks through it and see where that takes you.

Maybe you end up at la Vitrola for Dessa and Why? with TO hip hop duo Full Circle, and whatever the fuck Wand is.

Why? is classic cloud music, and I’m not just saying that because one of Why? is cLOUDEAD. And once again, stay tuned to Cult MTL later this week for my Q&A with Minnesota MC/soul-jazz singer/composer and Doomtree’s deadliest femme, Dessa and her live band. (Bonus: straight-up indie rap nerds will shake our moneymakers for Sean McPherson of Hieruspecs on the bass.) 10 p.m. for Dessa, 11 p.m. for Why? 4602 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $18/$20

Let’s talk about Schoolboy Q for a minute. Oxymoron hit a high note for modern rap music this year. With its overall lineup decidedly light on the hip hop heavies of the hour, POP is going all the way on this one. High Klassified shares the bill, at l’Olympia. 1004 Ste-Catherine E., 9 p.m., $60 students/$70 early bird/$85 door/$110 VIP

Meanwhile le Belmont hosts a selection of Montreal-based talent with Foxtrott, Black Atlass, Simahlak, Prison Garde, Seb Diamond and more. 4483 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $10

And also, later that night, James Murphy and Win Butler (aka DJ Windows 98) spin at SAT and there is absolutely no way I am even trying, but have fun, everyone. 1201 St-Laurent, 10 p.m., $15

Then, from midnight, get to church (literally, l’Eglise St. Michel) for a celebration of hip hop from its grimiest to its most grandiose. The aforementioned J.J. Fad are the guests of honour at 2 a.m., with local openers Donzelle gettin’ it choreographic-theatrical and with four-man air assault squad Shadowboxerz re-united in full force. DJ team Rap Mommies round it out like a pregnant belly. 105 St-Viateur, 11 p.m., $15/$20

One last plug: check back for my interview with Shadowboxer Lateef Martin later this week.

Sunday: Rhythm provocateur Cyrus, who drops new music on The Villa imminently, plays a free outdoor show at Place Pasteur from 3 p.m. with Elephant in the Room. 1473 St-Denis (@ de Maisonneuve), 12 p.m.

And Bonobo shuts down POP at the SAT, DJing a dance party with opener Jim-E Stack. 1201 St-Laurent, 8 p.m.., $24/$27
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