Choclair in Vancouver with Groundbreakers and guests [Review]
Vancouver, B.C. – Tonic nightclub launched their new Live N Direct Thursday nights this week, and who better to make the premiere than one of Canadian hip-hop’s godfathers, Choclair, who also debuted his new music video “Made to Move Mountains”.
The festivities were kicked off by local group Westcoast Familia, and after a quick smoking break, Storiez hit us with some soul-hop. Following that, the Groundbreakers graced the stage to bring it back to the essence with a new school twist. The group, which has a beat-boxer, a bassist as well as a DJ and two lyricists, rocked the house. With clocks hanging from their necks and caps tilted to the side, this group definitely had an old school flavor about them. To wrap up their set they broke into a live version of Dead Prez’s “Hip-Hop”, with the beat-boxer providing the drums while one of the rappers kicked a freestyle.
At 1 a.m. Choclair’s new video for “Made to Move Mountains” was introduced. The crowd watched the video attentively, all the while anticipating Choclair’s arrival. After a drawn-out introduction, the man of the hour hit the stage. He put his arms up and soaked in all the screams from the crowd, before dropping into a barrage of lyrics. Dressed in a simple t-shirt and jeans, you could tell he was a veteran by how comfortable he was on stage. By this time the crowd had significantly thinned out but, like a true professional, Choclair was not fazed, and continuously expressed his love for Vancouver and the West Coast.
He started things off with the C4 produced “Fired Up”. The crowd was quickly swinging their arms in unison. After that he brought it back with his Jully Black assisted “Light it Up”; there was a lot of bumping, grinding and hip-swinging going down on the Tonic dance floor, as opposed to the usual straight arm-swinging you’d expect at a hip-hop show. This didn’t stop with the Ice Cold classic “Rubbin’”. This segued nicely into a string of classic Choclair songs – “Who out here remembers the old Choclair stuff? The stuff that got me here today!” – he challenged the crowd. “What it Takes” and “Twenty-One Years” followed. Choclair threw some shades on and kept things moving with “Skyline” and ode to his haters, “Love ‘em All”.
The crowd was then surprised, as one of the Groundbreakers came on stage waving his “Ice Cold” vinyl as “Love ‘em All” went on. While Choclair signed the vinyl, one of Westcoast Familia grabbed the microphone and said “Red1 (One of the Rascalz) is in the building, everybody make some noise!” Choclair’s eyes perked up. He quickly brought him on stage and they blessed the crowd with an impromptu performance of “Northern Touch”. The crowd was more than grateful as they sang it a capella after the guys were done. The energy in the room was at an all time high. After some shout-outs, he broke into his Boogie Down Productions tribute “Breath Control,” freestyling on the second verse. “Made to Move Mountains” followed after, and the night was complete with 1999 hit “Let’s Ride”.
It was disappointing to see such a weak turnout to support one of Canadian hip-hop’s pioneers, but it was encouraging seeing how much Choclair still loved the art form, continuously bringing it back to his roots and paying homage to his influences. In a city with such a minor hip-hop scene, hopefully Choclair’s performance can inspire some growth.
Written by Mazin Sidahmed for HipHopCanada
Photography by Amalia Judith for HipHopCanada