Festival d’été de Québec hits the mark with Future, Loud, Killy & more
Atlanta hip-hop superstar Future pulled in the crowds at Québec City’s Festival d’été de Québec on Saturday night, just one day after the surprise release of Beastmode 2, his first solo mixtape of 2018.
In front of an audience estimated at more than 70,000 people – a turnout that appeared to impress festival organizers – and with a monster bass sound pounding us all into delirium, the 34-year-old producer-rapper (real name: Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn) launched himself into the show with full force, displaying a level of energy that far exceeded his 2016 appearance at Ottawa’s Bluesfest.
Performing with his DJ, Future fired out dope hits like “Low Life”, “F*ck Up Some Commas”, “New Level” and “Mask Off.” For that one, he was joined by four male dancers who hyped the fans even more with their non-stop movement, popping up on every corner of the stage. The energy in the crowd was incredible, and security was kept busy pulling bodies out of the crush of sweaty humanity in the pit. Some left in stretchers but most went right back into the mayhem.
Future’s killer show was the icing on the cake of a day-long program of hip-hop on the festival’s main stage. Also on the bill were Atlanta’s Lil Yachty, and two fast-rising Canadians – Montréaler Loud and Toronto phenom Killy.
Lil Yachty rode in on the high generated by Loud and Killy but oddly lost steam, and actually sat down at one point, explaining that he’d been sleeping all day and needed the crowd to feed him some energy. What grabbed the fans were not his repeated demands for a mosh pit but a tribute to his hip-hop brother, the recently slain rapper XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot last month while in his car in Florida. Yachty’s heartfelt version of XXX’s No. 1 hit “Sad!” was definitely the highlight of his set.
Earlier in the day, there was a reprise of the famous battle between French and English on the battlefields of the Plains of Abraham. Two hundred and fifty-nine years later, however, it was a rap battle between two of Canada’s hottest new acts: Loud vs Killy.
As good as Killy was with his spitfire rhymes, emo delivery and amazing energy, he couldn’t beat Montréal rapper Loud in his home province. The blue-eyed rapper they call the Eminem of Quebec may have lacked Killy’s determination to slay in the live setting but it was clear he’d already done the hard part in churning out a batch of catchy, Franglais tracks, feeding a demographic that seemed starved for some sick francophone beats. The crowd went nuts for every song.
Clouds of pot smoke aside, one disruption amid the heady flow of Loud’s performance was an awards ceremony, when a handful of industry associates joined Loud on stage to present him with an award recognizing the fact that his summer banger of a single, “Toutes les femmes savent danser“, made it to the top of the Quebec radio charts, evidently a first for a hip-hop tune. The presentation slowed things down for a minute or two but then Loud performed the now-historic song and watched the crowd light up with excitement.
Faced with that kind of provincial fervour, it was tough for Killy to even compete. But the slight 20-year-old was relentless in giving it all he had, demonstrating an ambition and intensity that makes us predict we’ll be seeing a lot more of Killy in the future. His performance was terrific – and at least he had the good sense not to wear a Leafs jersey deep in the heart of La Belle Province.