“This town has so much talent.” – Raekwon The Chef [Article]
Toronto, ON – The second Wu-Tang member to grace a Toronto stage in the last month, Raekwon made a point to pay his respects to Toronto last night at The Opera House. Decked out in a Blue Jays fitted and vintage Maple Leafs varsity jacket, he stood center stage with a bottle of Moet in his hand and saluted “the mecca of Canada.”
“I got a special announcement to make,” he told the faithful crowd. “This city has so much talent and don’t be surprised when Ice Age 2 puts some of y’all on.”
Back in March, Rae told HipHopCanada’s Kern Carter, “People out here make great music, they just ain’t getting that shot. So you know what? I’m walking into that door. What I got to lose? All I could do is give strong jewels and help artists be who they want to be.”
Over a resounding cheer, he told the crowd he appreciates their love of real lyricism and storytelling. Another member of Rae’s Ice Age camp grabbed a mic and mentioned a few of Toronto’s own MCs like Gangis Khan aka Camoflauge (who was standing side stage), P. Reign and JD Era. The crowd roared once more.
While Raekwon had previously alluded to his interest in Toronto’s talent to HipHopCanada, this was the first time he made his plans public.
The Chef held court at center stage, performing classics like Incarcerated Scarfaces, Ice Cream & Criminology. His commanding presence was indicative of an 18 year career that’s touched stages across the world. When he spoke, they listened. When he rapped, they rapped too. When he said “throw your W’s up,” hands shot up and stayed up.
Mindbender Supreme, a Toronto hip hop staple, was front and center, as usual, rapping every lyric word for word while packed right up against the stage. A low-key DL Incognito was also spotted in the rear of the venue by the bar. And in between was a raucous, passionate crowd seemingly in awe of the seasoned lyricist.
A fan who would only identify himself as David, could barely find words to describe his thoughts after the show.
“I can’t even pick a favorite song,” said David, wearing a classic Wu-Tang Clan t-shirt.
Wrapping his set, Raekwon drew a line in the sand saying “To all the niggas that been here since day one, this ain’t a show, it’s a reunion!”
To this writer it feels like we might be seeing a lot more of Raekwon in Toronto.
Special thanks to Pat, Katherine & Jonathan from Union Events.
Written by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada