Let the rap battles begin

The four-year-old local branch of the End of the Weak battle brand hosts the world championships PLUS the best parties this week.

shineI wish battle rap had hit white suburbia back in the late ’80s when I was a goofy fat kid gettin’ shit on by older, often smaller muhfuckas, who rapped the same Kool G. and Ice-T bars as I did on the bus, but wouldn’t get soft on a mark at showtime on the playground.

There in the ditch — my elementary school in St. Bruno had an actual fucking ditch for bullies to toss us in — why didn’t it ever occur to me to just flex up, yell “Yo, John Skelton/You smell like decomposing bologna and Hellman’s dressin’,” win the adoration of my peers, my gym teacher and my Grade 4 crush, and just move on?

Luckily, kids today have End of the Weak to look up to. The international battle/improv competition celebrates four years in Montreal (having grown globally from its roots as an NYC weekly which itself turns 15 this year) by hosting the world championship finals with a series of events next week, leading to the grand finale at le Belmont next Sunday, Sept. 6.

Ample event details as well as info on reduced rate tickets to the final showdown are available here, but know that the EOW is rolling out like a mini-festival in its own right for this birthday party. Tuesday’s regular Kalmunity session kicks off the week, with three-time EOW Montreal champ Monk.E as acting ambassador between the two events.

The multi-talented artist continues to entertain with live painting the following afternoon. Then on Thursday, as competitors, delegates and league champions begin to land in the city, flying in from eight countries around the globe, EOW meets le Cypher at Bleury Bar à Vinyle for an exercise in international rap improv. The party continues all week with battle events, breaking and more, culminating with the world championship battle on Sunday.

For those who’ve never seen an EOW battle, it isn’t simply people hurling rhyming insults at each other (though that’s awesome, too). There are steps, stages, games, and indeed the whole competition is centred on improv, something lacking in the written-battle scene that seems to dominate the times. Moreover, local EOW chapter founder BBrain — aka Benoit Beaudry, co-host of CISM staple rap show Ghetto Erudit — worked his ass off to make this happen, and the scale of the event, with something to offer the rap fan nightly, at an extremely low cost. So if you have one more week of enchanted summer evenings in you, EOW’s world finale week won’t disappoint either hardcore or casual hip hop battle enthusiasts.

Here’s what’s up this weekend and into next week.

Friday: DJ Solespin makes the wheels spin at Kafein. (1429A Bishop)

At le Belmont, the always-bumping Chocolate Jungle series throws a back-to-school jam with DJs Oracle & J-Kutz. (4483 St-Laurent)

Saturday: Ghostbeard and Poirier resurrect their Sud-West reggae jam, on hiatus this summer, with an all-day version, featuring a live performance from toastmaster Face-T, at Village au Pied-du-Courant, from 3 PM to midnight, free. (2100 Notre-Dame E.)

Also, from 7 p.m., Artgang Montreal presents an evening of image and sound with Charles Cozy, Walla P, Dr. MaD and special guests. (6524 St-Hubert)

Not to be outdone, The Goods celebrate Lucky #13 with the WeFunk crew guesting. (4848 St-Laurent, 10:30 p.m.)

And Knife’n’ Fork sound get all kindsa fresh at Datcha (98 Laurier W., 11 PM)

If that isn’t enough, go all night at Moonshine X, with DJs Pierre Kwenders, J.u.D. and more, from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Pricing and location details (the jam has moved from its Van Horne digs this month) can be found at the link above, but you’ll have to text for an address.

Sunday: Obie Trice (“real name, no gimmicks”) makes a rare Montreal appearance at le Belmont with openers Krazy K, Budz, Perfekshun and Eddy Monk. (4483 St-Laurent, $40 advance/$50 door/$65 VIP)

Tuesday: The Vinyl Love Sound System provide an evening of free funkiness at Bleury Bar a Vinyle from 7 p.m. (2109 Bleury)


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