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I went to a Hedley show to watch Classified and Mike Boyd open [Review]

Edmonton, AB – On Friday Apr. 4, the good people over at Live Nation brought Hedley to Edmonton’s Rexall Place for a stop along the B.C. band’s Wild Life Tour. Which is cool, and stuff. But I actually went to the show to watch Classified and Mike Boyd open things up. Because reasons. Oh, and T-Dot’s own D.O. (aka: Defy The Odds) was there, too.

So let’s break it down. Class’ little brother – Mike Boyd – dropped his …Note The Sarcasm LP at the end of March. And then he made the announcement that he’d be joining Class on the tour. So Classified’s opening set was actually a Mike Boyd and Classified opening set. And the bromance love was serious. I mean – think about it: Class gave up a solid chunk of his opening slot to introduce his fan-base to his brother’s music. So in addition to performing the Classified classics (like that new “Higher” joint that’s roasting up the airwaves right now), Classified was quick to get things into the Mike Boyd portion of the night.

I went to a Hedley show to watch Classified and Mike Boyd open [Review] -

So of course – “Mr. Mike” happened. “Mr. Mike” is the lead single off of …Note The Sarcasm. And it’s the perfect introduction track. Then we heard some of Mike’s solo bars, including that anti-ego “Small World” anthem (Shameless self-promotion: we just posted up the video for that track yesterday. Peep it here). Afterwards, Class got into more of his solo material and got Mike to rap along with him. The duo thing is a good look for the Boyds. They’re able to feed off each other – so it’s just pure genuine hip-hop bro love. And that’s the ish that the crowd can really get into.

So at one point, Class goes over to his turntable and explains that when he’s not on tour performing in front of people, he’s in the studio working on beats. Cue: “3 Foot Tall.” Actually, I didn’t realize what a huge fan I was of this joint until Class performed it live. I put it on repeat when I got home.

Unrelated side note: But I guess you can purchase these hybrid glowstick-lightsaber-crazy sticks at Rexall Place. Shouts to the Edmo crowd for working those sticks. I felt like I was at an underage rave, or something. The hype was real. The girl beside me was working her stick, and I thought she was going to smack my face off with it. And they say that the whole hip-hop-provoking-violence thing is an exaggeration. When Class got into “Inner Ninja,” girl got downright ferocious with that light stick.

And then Class introduced all of the Hedley fans to hip-hop. And it was adorable. Because most of the concertgoers were definitely not hip-hop heads. By any means. Regardless, Classified played a medley of Wu Tang, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and then some. Okay. Okay. So when he played “Hard Knock Life” by Jay-Z, I may have overheard someone questioning the relation between “that song from Annie” and hip-hop. And my soul died (at least they were able to pin-point the sample. But still). So I went and cried my eyes out in the bathroom. Just kidding. I didn’t. But I get it –  it’s hard to work a room 16-year old pop fangirls. Well, there were a few dudes there; who’d probably gotten wrangled into attending the show by their significant others. You feel me? But I had huge respect for how Classified ran his set. He knew he was opening for Hedley fans. He knew he wasn’t performing for the heads. He knew he was slightly out-of-his-element. But he stayed authentic. He just repped himself; and he repped Canadian hip-hop. And I got warm fuzzies.

Then there was that golden part of the set where Class asked everyone over the age of 25 to cheer. And they did. And then he asked everyone under the age of 25 to cheer (sorry – that’s actually my demographic). So obviously the under-25 crowd screeched with teeny-bopping fandom. And it was just this sort of “Oh, everyone here is really young and female” moment of realization.

And then Class closed his set with his monstrous “Oh Canada” joint that more-or-less made him very famous, and stuff. This was a brilliant schtick. Because he asked everyone to stand up and join him in singing the national anthem. And it’s completely socially unacceptable to not stand when singing the national anthem. ‘Na mean? You get in trouble for that ish in grade school. So by default, Class had the entire crowd on their feet by the last track of his set. Brilliant, right?

Review by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
Photo by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada

Special thank-you to the fine folks over at LiveNation for allowing HipHopCanada to be part of the show.

Twitter: @Classified | @MikeBoyd31 | | @LiveNationON

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is HipHopCanada's Associate Editor in Chief. Sarah is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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