Mac Miller

It’s still festival season! (hip hop edition)

The 411 on Hip Hop Don’t Stop and MRCY, the big rap events happening in Montreal this weekend.

shineLast night I participated in a dope panel discussion at McGill to help kick off the 10th edition of Hip Hop You Don’t Stop, continuing today and Saturday with free events in Côte-des-Neiges and NDG.

Original b-boy Ken Swift of NYC’s famed Rock Steady Crew and Illa J opened up the discussion, titled “Hip Hop As A Univeral Language,” sharing their perspectives on growing up in the culture with moderator Amanda Benn of CKUT’s Ill Groove Garden.

Later, Alaiz’s Dr. MaD, Under Pressure’s Melissa Proietti and myself were invited to join in and discuss our respective experiences with hip hop, youth and community. Event founder Ruined Sundays (aka: too many aliases for the judge) even made a cameo. And it was dope to just sit and chop it up with that particular cross section of individuals and an engaged audience about the love we give hip hop and the love it gives back.

Hip Hop You Don’t Stop keeps giving the love back all weekend. Tonight, free, at Maison de la Culture Cote-des-Neiges (5290 Côte-des-Neiges), le Cypher and the Urban Science band, End of the Weak MTL and Illa J converge live and direct, from 5 to 10 p.m., for Soulful Jam, also featuring Generation Flow, Harmny, Nobad Sound crew and Dr. MaD.

And Saturday, it starts out in the park — NDG Park — with Elementakiza, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Man, this jam has it all. Tacos. Jerk from Boom J’s. A-Shop bombing trucks and cellophane, with a t-shirt art workshop for kids (you bring the shirt). There’s a barber battle, for cryin’ out loud!

Professor Groove is gonna be there. Ken Swift is gonna be there doing a dance workshop from 1 to 2 p.m. Nomadic Massive is gonna be there. Mikey Dangerous is gonna be there. A ton of other artists, entertainments and diversions are gonna be on point. D-Shade is hosting the motherfucker. I mean really, what more can I say?

Mac Miller
Mac Miller

Actually the truth is I want you to be there because I won’t be. On Saturday I’m gonna go check out Laval’s MRCY Festival, conveniently named to remind us what metro it’s near.

Then again, I grew up in the sticks and we didn’t even have a commuter train, and I’m pretty sure Beloeil, QC, still doesn’t throw a party with Angel Haze, Mac Miller, A$AP Ferg, Alaclair Ensemble (okay, maybe Beloeil gets Alaclair) and Alabama Shakes.

I gotta go see what this is all about, and I’m pretty sure it’s about fun, unlike that sparsely attended mall parking lot concert featuring a single Vilain Pingouin that I saw once back in Beloeil. Laval — I’m countin’ on you! See you at Montmorency.