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The HipHopCanada guide to Sled Island 2014: Jun. 18 – 22 [News]

Calgary, AB – It’s that time of the year, again; Calgary’s annual Sled Island music festival is going down from Jun. 18 until Jun. 22. In fact, the festival pre-party kicked off in Bridgeland yesterday at Luke’s with a massive outdoor show from Shad. Yes. Shad. In Calgary. Doing a free show. It happened. And it was beautiful. Last year’s Sled Island was cut short because of the devastating floods in the YYC. But the festival pulled through; and it’s making a major comeback in 2014.

We’re already counting down the days until the city turns into a hub for all things music, art, and film. I know cats have been salty in the past due to the perceived lack of hip-hop representation at the festival. But this year’s lineup is very generous. We’ve got a monster headlining performance from Run The Jewels MC, Killer Mike. We’ve got a co-headlining set from Ghettosocks and Relic. We’ve got some sick local shows to look forward to from the likes of the Humble Giants, Ayoo Angie, A.Y.E., and more. Oh. And for the record: Killer Mike is doing a free artist talk at the Beat Drop studio. Isn’t that ferocious?

Festival passes are $199 and are available for purchase online. You also have the option to purchase a plus pass for $349 that includes priority access, Artist Lounge privileges, a Sled Island delegate bag and more. And if you don’t plan on going out to too many shows, you can forego the festival pass and purchase individual event tickets over here. Head on over to to peep the entire festival schedule, and check out our HipHopCanada festival picks, and more things of supreme importance after the jump.

The Sled Island Hip-Hop Guide: Jun. 18 - 22 in Calgary [News] -

Jun. 17: Young Braised at Commonwealth Bar & Stage

I don’t know enough about Young Braised. But I’m excited to catch the show. Because he sounds like a total space cadet. Here’s his bio from the Sled Island website: Misty hip-hop, deliciously lo-fi raillery and overall chill times perfected by Canadian west-coast rapper, Jaymes Bowman. His head is up high in digital clouds, raining down razor-sharp absurdities with dashing ease. Get caught up in his cumulonimbus and smooth along. YB hits the stage downstairs at Commonwealth (731 10 Ave SW) at 9:00 p.m., and takes the stage again on Jun. 18 at Local 510 (510 17 Ave SW) at 9:30 p.m.

Jun. 18: Rap X at Local 510

Rap X is a local cat on the come-up. Here’s the artist bio I found on Sled Island’s website: Micah Stone sure has a way with words. His clever rhymes snake their way around undeniably bumpin’ beats so your bod can move while your mind whirrs. Trust this veteran of Calgary hip-hop to give you a night to remember. Rap X hits the stage at Local 510 (510 17 Ave SW) at 6:30 p.m.

Jun. 18: A.Y.E. at Local 510

One of the things I love most about A.Y.E. is that the dude writes, produces, and raps. He’s also one of the friendliest cats on the local scene. He’s only 22 years old, and he’s already one of the most hyped-about rappers in the city. He just dropped his highly-anticipated 90 Now project (you can peep the review that Rosa Jason did on it, over here). It was a fresh look for him. It brought all of those good-feeling-inducing old school vibes into the mix with A.Y.E.’s out-of-the-box new-wave style. He hits the stage at 7:30 p.m. at Local 510 (510 17 Ave SW).

Jun. 18: Ayoo Angie at Local 510

Yo. Ayoo Angie is fierce. She’s a modern-day Foxy Brown; huge emphasis on the “Foxy.” She actually wrote for HipHopCanada briefly, too (she interviewed YYC’s own New’L). So I got mad love for the girl. The last year has been monstrous for her. She dropped a slew of sassy-pants videos, and even got some shine over on Noisey. They hailed her as the next Lil Kim. By the way. Angie hits the stage at 8:30 p.m at Local 510 (510 17 Ave SW).

Jun. 19: Sled Island x Beat Drop present: Killer Mike Artist Talk at Beat Drop

Holy hot damn diggity. Our friends over at the recently-launched Beat Drop studio have teamed up with Sled Island for an artist talk featuring the great Killer Mike. It’s a free event, too. Dude’s been in the game for more than a decade, now. And he’s going to share his R.A.P. game knowledge with us. FOR FREE. Also, he’s one of the funniest cats around. His live performance schtick is too hilarious. I’m assuming an artist talk with him would be about the same. It goes down at Beat Drop (1120 17 Ave SW) at 2 p.m. Be there, or be square.

Jun. 19: Beach Season at East Village Riverwalk Plaza

I spent the better part of last year raving about Obey The Crooks. They dropped this beautiful Care Package project that was – hands down – one of my favourite local releases of 2013. I interviewed them, too. Anyways, the singing half of the duo – Beach Season – is doing a solo set in the afternoon on Jun. 19. He dropped a solo EP at the beginning of the year entitled Internet Evening. And I felt feelings. It’s that kind of R&B that takes you deep into your mind; deeper than you ever thought was possible. Also works as a solid soundtrack for all things lusty and lovely and sexy and between-the-sheets. Anyways, you need to go see Beach. Even though it’s not hip-hop. It’s just damn wonderful music. He takes the stage at 3:45 p.m. at East Village Riverwalk Plaza (618 Confluence Way SE).

Jun. 19: Humble Giants at Republik

Let me tell you about the Humble Giants. Y’all know Halfcut, right? He’s one of the grittiest underground rap-cats in Calgary. And he’s got one of the best flows ever. He just dropped his From Dungeons To Rooftops album, too. Okay. Now you probably also know Beni J. He’s everything Calgary hip-hop. And – little known fact – he’s also one of the freshest MCs in the city. He’s usually really busy running 10 at 10, and hosting events and stuff. But when you get him on stage, he’s a beast of piffery smithery status. So who are the Humble Giants? The Humble Giants are Halfcut and TBT (Beni J). Hold up. Hold up. I’ll just let you take that in, for a minute. It’s a lot to take in; I know. But it’s going to be too good. HG takes the stage at Republik (219 17 Ave SW) at 9 p.m.

Jun. 19: xxx clvr at Republik

I found out about xxx clvr about a year ago because our HHC honey, Nicole Ariana, was covering his work out in Halifax (she also collaborated with him, this one time for an uber dope video). He’s got one of the most unique deliveries around. And his tuneage is always so good for vibing. I’m super stoked to finally get to see xxx live. Eeeps. He hits the stage at 10 p.m. at Republik (219 17 Ave SW).

Jun. 19: Killer Mike at Republik

Killer Mike is glorious. I caught him when he came through Calgary last year with EL-P on the Run The Jewels Tour. And he is one of the best live performers I have ever seen. Mostly because he works that whole “Take ’em to church” angle, and turns his audience into a congregation of die-hard religious hip-hop heads. It’s borderline cult-y. But it’s such an invigorating experience. Trust. But this show is the #1 thing I’m looking forward to at Sled this year. I’m already tearing up, just thinking about how beautiful this show is going to be. Ugh.

Jun. 21: Ghettosocks & Relic at Hifi Club

Ghettosocks and Relic are a duo of supreme status. Take two of the most talented hip-hop jack-of-all-trades; throw them together, and the end product is a show combining the forces of Ghettosocks and Relic. These two are pillars in Canada’s underground rap scene. Pillars; I tell you. This is going to be gnarly. They take the stage at 10 p.m. at Hifi Club (219 10 Ave SW).

Jun. 21: araabMUZIK at Hifi Club

araabMUZIK is ’bout that MPC drum machine. He’s one of the freshest beat-makers in the game right now, and one of my favourite producers on the come-up. Basically, this is going to be the show to let loose all of your inhibitions and dance like a crazy mofuggggaaa. Or – I mean – if you’re a producer, you should probably check this just for inspirational reasons. Sit in the back of the club and take notes. It goes down at midnight at Hifi (219 10 Ave SW).

Jun. 21: Tommy Kruise at Hifi Club

I don’t honestly know too much about Tommy Kruise. But dude seems legit. I pulled the following bio from Sled Island’s website. They called him “goofy.” Tee hee: Goofy skate kid Tommy Kruise has been cultivating a strong reputation for no-holds-barred parties in Montreal’s bass scene. Fun is at the heart of his purple-tinged reworks of underground rap tunes, never taking the gangster stuff too seriously but cuts straight to swirling beats and hooks into his own atmospheric yet immediate creations. Like kindred spirit and fellow scene-mate Lunic, Kruise’s enthusiasm is always on full display. Tommy takes the stage at 1 a.m. at Hifi (219 10 Ave SW).

Twitter: @SledIsland

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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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