Waka Flocka Live in Toronto March 31 [Review]
Toronto, ON – For a major artist like Waka Flocka, the crowd at The Phoenix over the long weekend was a small one. The venue was only half full at 11pm and became smaller as the night progressed. Before Waka, there were numerous opening acts, including Haitian Fresh from Waka’s camp who covered the stage with their crew and Haitian flags, Mayhem from Vancouver, Young Kidd from Manitoba, KOTD beat box champ Scott Jackson and Rexdale’s ROSxRMG who rolled deep, bringing guests Pops On Da Beat and Dre Barrs. Stacee Brizzle, a surprisingly entertaining and unapologetic white girl with a love for trap MCee’d the opening acts. She kept the show moving, bringing out girls for a twerk contest, that funny enough, no one ended up voting on, to keep the crowd engaged. The last opener acknowledged the piff in the air and from then the smoke thickened. Read the rest of the review after the jump.
Waka emerged on stage at a quarter to twelve, his physical presence dominating everyone else on stage. There’s something about his size and the way he carries himself that demands attention. A drummer was set up to the left of the stage and was illuminated by a canary spot light and smoke that swirled through it and around the profile of the drummer. The visual was great until he was eventually covered by an entourage that encroached from the perimeter of the stage. Waka started with songs off his 2010 album Flockaveli and then moved through Triple F Life covering all his singles, such as “Round of Applause,” “No Hands,” and “Hard in the Paint” in which he recited the original lyrics “…see Gucci that’s my mutha f*ckin n***a..” despite the beef surrounding him being dropped from Brick Squad. Flocka seemed unphased by any gossip and pulled two girls up on stage who remained there, happy as hell for the rest of the night after he made them hug and peck each other.
Flocka shook his dreds to the sounds of the drummer who intensified the music and gave the show a rock vibe. To slow it down he did acapellas that worked well with tracks like “Let Dem Guns Blam,” and connected with the crowd by shaking hands and speaking directly to select people who yelled to him from below. The show would have felt much different if there were a larger crowd because if anyone can get turnt up on stage it’s Flocka. The first hundred people at the front of the stage knew all his tracks and threw their hands up, but beyond that the rest of the people stood unmoved, as Toronto crowds generally are. By the end of the show there was an equal number of people on stage as there was in the crowd and it reminded me of the BET awards back in the early 2000’s. After an hour long show, among a stage full of entourage, bling, flags, smoke, the girls from earlier and all the opening acts, Flocka ended somewhat abruptly, said thank you and walked through the crowd of people on stage who parted for him and then reformed immediately, trying to find a way off the stage as well.
Unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t in full force that night, but one thing is for sure, Waka Flocka is far from being a boring performer and definitely knows how to have a good time on stage.
Review written by Leandra LeGendre (@LeandraLeGendre) for HipHopCanada