It’s been about a week and a half since the J.Cole hit up Toronto for the 4 Your Eyez Only Tour. I’ve been listening to Cole for a quite awhile, but never got around to catching him live. The last time he was in Toronto was for Drake’s 6ixth Annual OVO Fest, but I wasn’t able to score tickets.
Before J.Cole hit the stage, Anderson .Paak hit the stage with his band. He has such smooth vocals both when recorded and in person, and he is killer on the drums. He stood at centre stage initially, but then he made his way over to the drum kit and stayed there for the rest of his set. He performed “Suede”, which is one of my favourites. I especially have a soft spot for him because he has a song titled “Khadijah.”
Then, the opening notes of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” off of 4 Your Eyez Only were heard. Cole came out wearing an orange prison jumpsuit with the words “Property of ________” on the back, reminding us that it is not his story, but rather an Everyman tale of sorts. In between well-timed videos and personal anecdotes, J. Cole performed every single song off the album. Yes, you read that right. He also performed classics from earlier days, including “Power Trip,” “No Role Modelz,” “Wet Dreamz,” “A Tale of 2 Citiez,” and “Lights Please.”
The room was filled with such crazy energy, and you could tell that everyone felt uplifted. Although I had seen Kendrick Lamar just a few days before, for the second time, I felt that J. Cole put so much more effort and passion into articulating himself to his fans, and performing every song from the bottom of his heart. I felt like that was the case when I saw Kendrick back in 2015, but I felt that it was more of a gimmick this time around, and almost rushed.
If you didn’t get a chance to catch it the first time on HBO, there is also a short film that accompanies J.Cole’s album. It is such a real and powerful story, one that has stuck with me. Click here to watch it in full.
The DAMN. Tour has been described by critics as a “centre-stage ass kicking” by critics. The acclaimed album DAMN. by Compton-born rapper Kendrick Lamar, has gone double platinum since it’s Good Friday release.
In terms of the album, I would describe it as a very complete piece. His alter-ego “Kung Fu Kenny” comes through a lot of the tracks and carries right over into the show.
Before Lamar hit the stage, Big Baby D.R.A.M. and Travi$ Scott came to the stage. Dram, famous for the catchy hit “Broccoli,” serenaded the crowd in the opening minutes and closed with the track. About 10 minutes passed before Scott was on the stage. He went all the way to his tapes and brought it forward to Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. He also performed his latest single, “Butterfly Effect.”
Travis couldn’t be kept on the ground. He mounted a large bird (which was fitting) and hovered over the audience while he performed some of his greatest hits, like “Antidote” and “Goosebumps.” He was enjoying himself so much, he performed “Goosebumps” four times.
AIN’T NOBODY PRAYING FOR ME.
This is the phrase that rang out over and over. It was found on the screens, in the air, and on the majority of the concert merch. Kendrick spliced in videos of him fighting with martial arts, where he was known as the Black Turtle. He called out a fan that challenged him saying that Toronto wouldn’t remember, and then used it as a segue into tracks from his debut album, Good Kid M.A.A.D. City. The 2012 release is what really put Lamar on the rap scene as a force to be reckoned. It made his flow, interludes, and content famous.
Technically, my time with Radio Laurier is over… but I couldn’t resist jumping at the opportunity to review DAMN. by the one and only Kendrick Lamar. After the release of his acclaimed concept album To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015 and accompanying piece Untitled Unmastered in 2016, I was convinced that Kendrick would be on a break.
Then, it happened. Out of nowhere, he dropped a track called, “The Heart Part 4,” which indicated that a new album was coming. It cited April 7, but I had to patiently wait until Good Friday, April 14. It really was a good Friday. Little did I know that DAMN. would become my favourite of Kendrick’s albums to date.
Here are the five main reasons why I love it so much:
It isn’t just a rap album. Each track offers something in terms of genre.
Family matters come to the surface, which is reminiscent of 2012’s Good Kid M.A.A.D. City.
The collaborations with Rihanna and U2 are somewhat unexpected, yet incredible.
Kenny is fearless in his critiques on the government and the media, especially Fox News.
Two words: production value.
He is the greatest rapper alive (sorry… still stuck on “The Heart Part 4”).
Kendrick has been acclaimed for his music videos, especially those coupled with tracks from To Pimp a Butterfly. I lost my mind when the video for “HUMBLE.” dropped, which is where the image at the very top of this post is from. If you haven’t seen it yet, click below.
Just when I thought that my 2017 was made, the DAMN. tour was announced. Cornrow Kenny will be going on tour with Travis Scott and Big Baby D.R.A.M. Of course, my boyfriend and I got pre-sale tickets for his show in Toronto on July 25. I’m definitely going to be writing a concert review, so stay tuned for that.
Tyga celebrated his 24th birthday last week, including appearances from friends, family and a subpoena. Thats right. While its not clear if the subpoena he received is 100% related, Tyga has incurred yet another lawsuit for missed payments on his red Ferrari. The same red Ferrari that has already been repo’d twice. Either way you slice it, thats not a great look for Tyga. However, despite the numerous (almost regular) lawsuits involving Tyga’s missed payments with landlords and car dealers, he’s managed to escape them all without serious legal penalty. This leaves us with two questions; is Tyga making the lives of his landlords/car dealers hell because why not-lifestyle of the rich and famous-I’ll pay you only when i have to? Or has Tyga found himself a sugar mama in KylieJenner? After all, she did recently buy him a brand new Bentley truck. Perhaps he’s making quiet and smart investments, but at the very least we know all of this mulah didn’t come from Birdman during his time with Young Money (Hip-Hop zing).
Get Well Soon
We all have a type of love for KanyeWest, whether it’s that we love to hate him, or just simply love him. Kanye West is arguably one of the greatest artists of this generation. Kanye recently had a mental break down and was admitted to a Los Angeles Hospital. Kanye is currently under watch and is battling mental health issues. Kanye West has been going on rants, cancelling tours, and leaving in the middle of shows. At some point we have to stop and ask ourselves, what’s going on? Dealing with mental issue can be a difficult thing on an individual, because in most cases it’s a life and death situations. We sometimes forge that some of these entertainers are actually human beings with real feelings and emotions. We haven’t seen that with no other artist, like we have with Kanye West. Keep Kanye in your prayers as he battles his demons and hopefully overcome it and come out a better individual and stronger mentally.
What You Should be Listening to This Week
It has been a crazy week so far in the Hip Hop world. We received great music from YG, and The Weeknd. The west coast gangsta dropped an 8 track mixtape (that should have been an EP) with nothing but bangers called Red Friday, on Black Friday. He starts off the tape with an intro of a female saying that the trilogy to his “Just Re’d Up” series is coming soon. The tape includes a part 2 track to his and MeekMill’s “I’m a Thug”. It had features from the verse king 21Savage, Mr. LA aka RJ and an up and coming artist named Mitch. The Weeknds album Starboy was more than we all expected. It is a soft, soulful yet edgy sound. This catchy sound track included features from KendrickLamar, DaftPunk and Lana Del Rey. In other album news, Lil Wayne announced a new project titled Funeral which he assures us is on the way, and Mos Def also announced his final album titled December 99th coming our way December 9th. November has been a warm month from all this heat we’re getting. We hope we get even more in December until then go check out these new albums.
(Written by TJ Mroz, Garrick Gray & Yafet Berhane)
This week was certainly a big one for DJ O$AP and Goldilocks! As many of you already know, Starboy is finally here! Quite possibly the biggest musical day of the year for the two DJ’s, since their common love for TheWeeknd is the reason this radio show exists! There’s been half a week’s worth of talk and debate about this highly anticipated album and you can rest assured that they were not disappointed. Eighteen brand new songs, with the exceptions of the four premature releases, and a single seductive interlude featuring the lovely Lana Del Ray. The Weeknd kept the feature list pretty simple with Starboy, but there’s no let down when you see the names Daft Punk, Future, Kendrick Lamar and a sneaky untitled feature of Sam Smith in the song Sidewalks. If you didn’t get to see the anxiety provoking teaser trailer called M A N I A that the Weeknd released just before the album came out, there’s a link below where you can check it out! It was almost torturous to watch short clips of his new unreleased songs just a few hours before the official album release, but the high intensity of the video clips in the trailer were once again, surpassed all expectations!
It’s safe to say that the music world is in agreeance that the new album is good… but how good? Does it compare to those timeless songs we heard on the album Kissland and the mixtapes from Trilogy? Well, after admitting Goldilocks was a die-hard Hilary Duff fan, and O$AP has been in love with Ellie Goulding since early high school, it was agreed that both DJs’ music taste heightened when they found a mutual love for The Weeknd. The early productions of The Weeknd are what defined their new favourite artist; his unique sound and vibe setting him apart from any other artist on the market. It would take a lot for The Weeknd to top his original work, and after much debate Goldilocks and O$AP have decided that they need more time with the album to truly decide if it is on par… stay tuned each week to stay updated on their debates!
Angel, from Beauty Behind the Madness is arguably one of The Weeknd’s most original, ear-catching songs ever released. The vocals and lyrics of the track provided The Weeknd with an anthem that truly resonated with his fans. The biggest question about the new Starboy album is which song, if any, is able to compete with Angel? Thus far, Die For You stolen the hearts of both DJ’s but unfortunately does not quite measure up to the Angel standard. Though the track really gets those university emotions flowing, it just doesn’t seem to hit as hard as that heartstring-plucking anthem Angel.
It’s easy for the DJ’s to give their opinions on the album… but how is the rest of the world feeling about The Weeknd? Well, it’s safe to say Starboy is destroying the music charts and held the #1 spot in 80 countries within a mere 24 hours after release! Looks like it’s a lot more than just Goldilocks and O$AP that are falling in love with these tracks. He has taken over the music charts, claiming 18 of the top 20 songs!
On a far less important, but still awesome note, O$AP got a new phone! To end this week’s show, the DJ’s had a quick discussion about the new Google Pixel and the awesome new V.R. features it holds. For those who don’t know, V.R. or “virtual reality” is an exciting new technology that’s getting noticed fast. It’s a visual and audio experience that places you in a new virtual graphic world where a V.R. headset accessory allows you to interact with the simulated environment. It even has zombie games! Um, NO! Goldilocks and O$AP won’t be tough enough to play those games for quite some time. They’ll be taking the much more relaxing, scenic route for now… enjoying the simulated butterflies and calming lakes! If you want to learn some more and check it out, take a look at some of the links and videos down below!
Thank you so much for tuning in with us this morning! Have a wicked week Laurier, good luck to everyone preparing for their final exams and working on those last minute final assignents! We’ll be back next Monday morning! (probably still fan-girling over the Weeknd)
This Week’s Song List:
Starboy (feat. Daft Punk) – The Weeknd
Party Monster – The Weeknd
False Alarm – The Weeknd
Reminder – The Weeknd
Rockin – The Weeknd
Secrets – The Weeknd
True Colours – The Weeknd
Stargirl Interlude (feat. Lana Del Ray) – The Weeknd
DJ Deej and DJ Stretch were both in the studio for the first time in this school year. He may have been absent, but DJ Stretch has been putting in work. He provided a review of Travi$ Scott‘s latest album,Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. Deej clarified that “McKnight” is, in fact, an as allusion to R&B artist, Brian McKnight. He also appears in Scott’s first music video for the album. The album has many features from Kendrick Lamar, to Justin Bieber. Both of these artists have been in the habit of featuring on tracks lately. Lamar has worked with Danny Brown and Sia, while Bieber has worked with DJ Snake and Major Lazer.
Marc E. Bassy (who is featured in Track #4, below) is coming to Toronto on November 15th. He will be performing at the Velvet Underground. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
This week’s track list is as follows:
Nights – Frank Ocean
Pick Up the Phone – Young Thug & Travis Scott
Highly Possible – Big Gigantic ft. Waka Flocka Flame
Some Kind of Drug – G-Eazy ft. Marc. E Bassy
Little Bit of This – GTA ft. Vince Staples
Fade Away – Logic
Really Doe – Danny Brown ft. Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt