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Christmas Rappin with Rascalz, Maestro & Swollen Members (Live) [Photos/Review]

Vancouver, B.C. – The Christmas Rappin party at Bar None featured nothing but old-school vibes, 90s hip-hop, R&B and Dancehall music. What better way to celebrate the old school than with special performances from the Krispy Biskut crew (DJ Kilo-Cee & The Incredible Ease with Mr. Bill), Checkmate & Concise, Kyprios, Rascalz, Swollen Members and Maestro Fresh Wes! All the hometown greats were out to celebrate DIPT’s 10 year anniversary and raise some money for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

Christmas Rappin with Rascalz, Maestro Fresh Wes, & Swollen Members (Live) [Photos/Review] on

Getting the night started was a task for Krispy Biskut crew, who worked the stage and warmed up the crowd as Incredible Ease performed a few songs from his repertoire. Next up were Vancity underground legends Checkmate & Concise. The hip-hop tandem quickly took over the stage spitting boastful raps loud and clear over the menacing “Inkredible-Trae The Truth” Instrumental which led perfectly into the performance of their classic cut “RAW”. It was a short but sweet set that left the crowd begging for more.

Feeding of the energy of the performance that preceded him, the talented Kyprios Bayday of Sweatshop Union was next to come to the stage. He started off festively by dropping a verse over RUN DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” instrumental. He worked the crowd charismatically, pausing to interact with the crowd after every song. This caused more and more people to gravitate towards the dance floor. He then closed his killer set with a strong performance of the fan favourite “This is my Hit.”

Now it was time to get even more live. Red 1 and the Killawatt stable took the stage backed by the incredible DJ Kemo and performed a short intro before launching into the anthem “Really Livin” followed by the classic “Dreaded fist”. Red1 with the help of Plazma and Heatwave would keep the crowd hype through a plethora of one-verse snippets from hits such as “Northern Touch”, “Still Too Much” and “Movie Star”. Heatwave then set the stage ablaze performing club banger “Bad Girl” .The duo Plazma would follow, closing out the set with an infectiously energetic performance.

It was now Swollen Members turn to come to the stage. The enthusiastic crowd was definitely ready to revisit a group that played a huge role in developing Vancouver’s growing hip-hop scene. The performance kicked off with “Red Dragon”. Living up to his reputation of one of the most innovative performers, Prevail chugged a fan’s beer then jumped into the crowd immediately and proceeded to spit half of his verse while crowd surfing. Mad Child would feed off his energy as he led the crowd into “Warrior”. The duo would close their set performing the classic hit singles “Fuel Injected” and “Lady Venom” in rock star fashion.

Finally it was time for the main event. The “Godfather of Canadian Hip Hop” Maestro Fresh Wes launched immediately into “Drop The Needle”. The seasoned veteran performed effortlessly, spitting each lyric crisply and clearly. It was as if he was schooling the crowd to what real hip-hop is. The pioneer would then get the people on the dance floor moving by charismatically performing “Let Your Back Bone Slide” the first Canadian hip-hop song to top the charts. Maestro then mellowed out with “God Bless the Child” and closed his set with the motivational “Stick to Your Vision”.

This was the perfect end to a memorable evening showcasing Canadian talent new and old. It’s not too often that so many veterans come together for one night to grace the stage. For those who missed it…. my condolences.

Written by Eric Yensu for HipHopCanada
Photography by Justin Langille for HipHopCanada

Photography by Justin Langille


Kyprios, mid set.

Bar None

The marquee hanging over the stage at Bar None, listing a lineup of new and classic rap talent for the first annual Christmas Rappin' benefit show for Vancouver's Food Bank

A bouncer's folded hands are contrasted by the energy of a fan during a set by the Rascalz.


Red1 of Rascalz gets playful with the crowd during their set at Bar None's first annual Christmas Rappin' charity concert.

Fizal, Heatwave

Fizal and HeatWave share a special moment with the crowd.


Prevail takes a moment to compose himself as Swollen Members get the holiday crowd riled.

Maestro Fresh Wes

Fans new and old hung off of every word flowed out by Canadian hip hop legend Maestro Fresh Wes, who headlined the evening.

Maestro Fresh Wes

Men and women flocking to the side of Maestro Fresh Wes as he works his way through a medley of his hits on the Bar None stage.

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  1. Adam

    Why did they have such a solid lineup at such a tiny venue that doesn’t even have a proper stage?

    Bar None is not meant for live music, this show would have been alot better somewhere else.

  2. Northern Lights It Up, Smokes It Up!

    Thanks a lot for the review and photos!

    Hey Adam,

    Were you even at this show?

    If you were, were you smoking crack or something?

    I was at the show and it was an epic night in Canadian hip-hop! I felt blessed to be able to see all these legendary Canadian hip-hop groups do their thing in the intimate atmosphere of a small club like Bar None. For hosting this show and all the other classic hip-hop shows they have, Bar None gets props over here!

    Get the audio from this show here:

    Big thanks to Jay Swing for posting that!

    It makes a nice companion to the CBC’s Canadian Hip-Hop Summit audio.

    Get that here:

    Big thanks to CBC!

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