Toronto was bursting at its seams this past weekend, with concerts, conferences and a major award show that was being broadcasted to over 20 various countries around the globe. Thousands (if not millions) of people descended downtown to partake in these annual events. FRESHLY.EDUCATED.MEN were there and are back to report on the events.
GZA and The Cool Kids at NXNE Main Stage Yonge-Dundas Square
This was the show that all hardcore Wu-Tang Clan stans were waiting for this weekend as hundreds of them crammed Yonge-Dundas Square (from the stage to all the way at the edge of Yonge Street) to see one of hip hop’s legends perform for free on stage. As was the case on Saturday at the NXNE interview session with Fab 5 Freddy, GZA was running late. Despite the late start, stans were anxiously waiting to hear from one of the architects of the Clan…and he did not disappoint. It was a surreal moment when Fab 5 Freddy introduced GZA to the stage; it felt as though one generation of hip hop was passing the torch to the next generation. The crowd was reflective of our city’s diversity as black, white, Asian, Indian and etc. stans were there to witness GZA; as was the young and old. Taking us down memory lane (from Enter the Wu-Tang 36 Chambers, 8 Diagrams to Liquid Swords), it was almost a block party vibe at the square as the old heads were chanting word-for-word and the younger heads were being educated on classic hip hop. At one point, GZA shouted out that he didn’t mind the media being there to record and write about what was happening (as they were apparently being kicked off stage by security). After almost 20 years of being in the music industry, GZA still riled up the crowd and gave an extraordinary performance that made stans reminisce about the days of the Wu.
Just like how the older heads were waiting for GZA, the younger heads were excited to see the Chicago duo that has exploded onto the scene…without even having released an official album yet. The Cool Kids (Chuck Inglish from Detroit and Mikey Rocks from the Chi) were again introduced by Fab 5 Freddy and when they came on, the crowd went bananas. Performing tracks from their newly released mixtape, Gone Fishing, it was the younger heads chanting word-for-word and the older heads being educated on the new sound that hip hop has taken. The highlight of the performance was when they performed tracks from their highly acclaimed debut mixtape, The Bake Sale. From Mikey Rocks to Gold and a Pager, they once again proved why they have been successful with only a couple mixtapes under their belt.
** pics taken from citynews.ca as both our digital cameras went out of service after video recording the shows**
As has been the case for past MMVA’s, this year was no different as close to 6000 (mostly teens) crammed Queen Street West to catch a glimpse or a handshake from their celebrity idols. With The Jonas Brothers co-hosting and performances from the likes of Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and Kelly Clarkson, the MMVA’s exploded with screaming fans and feisty bloggers alike (Perez Hilton to be exact). Canadian music ruled as Nickelback took home the most trophies, but it was Lady Gaga that stole the show. Performing Love Game and Poker Face with her raunchy performance featuring fake subway cars, dynamite and even a sparkling bustier, she accepted her award for Best International Video (for Poker Face) and thanked “God and the gays.” The other major highlight of the show was when Drake (homegrown talent) presented and got the biggest reception from the emphatic and boisterous crowd. Having already hit 3 million downloads of his 3rd mixtape, So Far Gone, he also dropped that:
“Probably by the end of next week I should have a record deal done, and it will be with somebody under the Universal Records umbrella.”
The only sour note of the MMVA’s (and not during the show though) was the Will.I.Am and Perez Hilton mix up. Apparently Perez claimed that Will.I.Am had beat him at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel around 3 am after Fergie had approached Hilton and confronted him of his dislike for her. After calling the police and waiting for them to rescue him, he tweeted and asked for his fans to call the police for him. There are reports that the Toronto Police were so overwhelmed with calls from his fans that Hilton tweeted after that the police had arrived. Will.I.Am denies the claim, and his manager has since been arrested for the beat down. Oh yes, and then there was the Drake after-party fiasco, we won’t even go near that.