A flavourful taste of hip-hop at Osheaga 2014 [Review]
Montreal, QC – Originally published August 9, 2014 – The highly-anticipated Osheaga Music Festival 2014 embraced thousands of music fanatics with loving arms during its opening days in August. Over 40,000 people from Montreal and Toronto, along with international guests and vacationers saturated the tiny satellite island of Parc Jean-Drapeau to enjoy the vibrant summer rhythms of more than 100 performances on six outdoor stages.
Food trucks serving delicious delights were present, booze flooded the atmosphere, and port-a-potty lines were invitingly outstretched. Several talented and distinguished hip-hop artists represented the culture well over the three-day fete. Check after the jump for Aneesah Marie’s review of the historical and immortal moments that went down.
A large influx of the music heads arrived shortly after Pusha T and Childish Gambino graced the stage with their creative genius. They gave their audience favourable performances. Skrillex – the one man show – rocked the stage by cranking up the bass to deafening heights in a eccentric revolutionary spaceship-like device. I’ve never heard (nor felt) bass thump like that in my life!
I cruised by the Electronique Stage – still high from the previous performance – and caught glimpses of the end of Chromeo’s show. I saw flashbacks of what I imagine Woodstock was like: girls with flower headbands and shirtless boys with imaginary muscles; both splattered in mud and dancing off-rhythm to their own beat.
By 7 p.m., the young rebel crowd (made up of mostly non-tax paying young adults), staggered in all directions; intoxicated beyond proper speech. I must remind and inform our non-Montreal native readers that the legal drinking age in Montreal is 18. There was a plethora of girls standing on coolers hocking vodka bottles; taking full advantage of a thirsty crowd. Handsome people, music, positive vibes and beer everywhere!
Outkast – the headlining act of Osheaga – blessed the stage and the crowd with their presence on time to the largest crowd I saw during the three days of musical festivities. Andre 3000 is known for his unique fashion sense. He dressed much the same he has this year on the festival circuit. He mastered a white haired wig and the words “Life is short, take more baths” on his jumpsuit, along with a ‘sold’ tag.
The set had a full band (horn section included), and the duo performed their massive catalogue of hits and crowd favorites spanning over the course of their successful 22-year careers. Andre and Big Boi both did tunes from their solo projects, and at one point Mr. 3000 brought out 10 enthused girls who all seems to have two things in common: they were carefree and they were strategically braless. As Andre performed one of his many hits, “Hey Ya,” the audience swayed, vibed and danced while shouting along to the timeless lyrics. The crowd responded admirably to the dynamic duo. And Outkast was made an instant and forever crowd favourite.
The following day, J Cole gifted the audience with a sound performance that was equipped with a full band. J dressed in a modest ‘every-day’ grey tee and shorts. It appeared that the majority of Osheaga ticket holders were avidly present during his midday show. And many of them knew (and recited) the lyrics to all of his tracks. After J Cole’s performance, Nick Cave made his appearance on stage with his Aerosmith-like band. I’m confident the majority of the 20-somethings there for J Cole were not all too familiar with this. The generation gap from one performance to another was very interesting.
Danny Brown performed with a DJ and no band in front of a mega-huge crowd that didn’t sing along so much; but danced like they meant it. There was that particular aroma in the air as smoke was seen drifting up from the crowd in all directions.
There were shortcuts I discovered to get between stages: taking a path through the trees was one way to avoid crowds. There were hammocks all through the forest-like area, and the sun was already down. I’m sure many will have stories from the weekend worth remembering for a lifetime.
Joey Bada$$ was nearly an hour late. The crowd shrunk to half of what it was when the show was scheduled to begin. There was no public announcement that the act was canceled or delayed. When he finally did start, Bada$$ gave the hypest performance I’ve seen in a while.
There was much to do and see over the three days of Osheaga. It’s a hot ticket of the summer – no doubt. These were just a handful of hip-hop acts that hit stages and rocked the mic. And there were many other performers from other genres who did the do, including Lorde, Kaytranda, SBTRKT, and the Artic Monkeys. Imagine an all hip-hop festival happened in this city, though. Would you make your way to Montreal for a three-day weekend festival rammed with your favourite hip-hop acts?
Notice: The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the author and are not necessarily those of HipHopCanada or its affiliates.
Photography courtesy of Osheaga