Royce Da 5’9″ at Red Room Vancouver (Live) [Photos/Review]
Vancouver, B.C. – When Royce da 5’9” declares that “real hip hop is in the building” you can’t help but believe it: Detroit’s Nickel Nine had the Red Room in Vancity bouncing on his Success is Certain Canadian tour.
The night started with local trio The Kids, who got the crowd warmed up and the bodies movin on the floor. Abstrakt and Q. Bass, hailing from the 403, rolled on after and although the crowd seemed a little hesitant at first, they soon connected and warmed up to what the duo were laying out. Vancity heavyweight DJ Jay Swing held the first two openers down before turning the ones and twos over to DJ K-Rec, and Vancouver staples Checkmate and Concise – aka Defenders of the Faith – took the stage, representing Canada with Pilsners and Hennessey to get the party started for the big Homie.
Royce da 5’9 has been on his grind since ’95, and is as hard-working and on-point as ever – credit should be given where credit is due and it seemed fitting that he’d begin with “Legendary” off his latest solo endeavor Success is Certain. From that point it was on, and with the help of his little bro Kid Vishis, the Detroit crew worked their way through all of Nine’s hits. The post-prison frustration voiced in “Where my Money” had the hands in the air and the the hit single “Writer’s Block” featuring Eminem had muthafuckers waving ‘em like they just didn’t care.
Also in the mix were some DJ Premier-produced classics like “Hip Hop” and “Boom,” the latter of which some keen-eared Premo fans may have picked out a little “Nas is Like” beat remix. The General of Slaughterhouse – who are incidentally dropping a new album May 15 on Shady Records – covered his bars on “Sound Off” and “Microphone” and the room went crazy: Royce himself couldn’t contain his excitement on the crowd feedback. Adding to the hype, Kid Vishis proved that talent runs in the blood with a solo track and a freestyle that put him on the radar as one to watch.
A Royce da 5’9” show wouldn’t be complete without the singles from the top-charting Bad Meets Evil album Hell: The Sequel. Sans Slim of course, Royce dropped his verses from “Fast Lane” and ended his set with the song about triumph and overcoming adversity, “Lighters.” A true master of ceremonies at work, Royce had the crowd hanging on his every word; whether raising their hands – or lighters – in the air or bouncing along, the show was fun and intense the whole way thru. Old ish and new ish. Vancouver greatly appreciated the heart and soul put in by the Detroit MC, who had nothing but love in return.
Written by Joshua J for HipHopCanada
Photography by joeldufresne.com for HipHopCanada