I gotta put this one on for the famo out here in TO. The homie Suundjaye, who is both a friend and our ever-suffering landlord, is a talented drummer in a band by the name of Earthtones. His partner, Aria, is an amazingly gifted singer and at the 2010 Manifesto festival in Toronto, these cats rocked a killer set, including this rendition of Mos Def's 'Umi Says'. Watch the video and throw in a comment on their YouTube page!
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So Toronto turned it out for Manifesto this Sunday just passed. I wasn't able to check out most of the events during the week, but I heard great things about the film festival and the Jean Grae gig.
The main event was on Sunday 26th September, an all ages, all day affair at Yonge & Dundas Square, the largest public square in the city (Toronto's equivalent of Times Square). The line up was incredible...but I'll get to that.
I rocked up late to unfortunately miss our landlord Suundjaye and soul vocalist Aria kill it in the early afternoon with the sun blazing and a solid crowd already forming. We also missed the homegirl Masia One rocking with Miss Jessica Kaya, but managed to be front and centre for one of my favourite MCs (and human beings), Eternia murder her set with DJ Law, and special guests Tona and Maestro Fresh Wes (with Crazy Legs even making a guest appearance). When she jumped off stage and made her way through the crowd Moses-style, folks just lost it. Powerful.
The headliners were incredible. With the entire square packed solid (check the photo above, taken from the Jack Astor's patio), Jay Electronica took the stage with most of the crowd mouthing the words to every jam. Both 'Exhibit A' and 'Exhibit C', performed as a medley at the end of his set, went retarded crazy with Jay performing from the middle of the crowd, and the beat dropping out at the end of each song so dude could spit acapella. Clearly the 30 minute set allotment wasn't enough for Jay, as he was pushing to keep performing but it would have cut into Black Thought's set, so he jumped off (I later heard that there was some negativity towards Jay's cussing at a family friendly event).
Black's set was more of a party b-boy thing, but he still kicked it off with 'The Next Movement' and proved why he's one of the illest in the game, period. Every time I've seen Tariq perform, he's been incredible, so there's not much more to say except that witnessing this legend perform his craft is never anything short of amazing.
I gotta shout out the organisers of Manifesto - to organise a week-long Hip Hop/urban festival, and top it off with a free, all day concert (11 hours!) at the largest city in Canada's biggest public square is nothing short of incredible. Cannot wait til next year, and fingers crossed The Movement Fam will be involved...
Check some of the performances after the jump.
Great to see the folks at Manifesto ain't playing on the technology tip. "This app is your one-stop guide to the Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture with details of all events, venues, maps, artists and other information.
The critically acclaimed Manifesto Festival Of Community & Culture features sevent days of incredible events across the city, culminating in a massive free outdoor concert at Yonge & Dundas Square in the heart of downtown Toronto. Growing to be arguably Canada’s largest hip hop festival in just three years, Manifesto brings together hundreds of artists & performers with thousands of attendees to showcase our city’s talented arts community and strengthen its foundations by building a collective sense of pride and possibility.
Through art exhibitions, dance competitions, workshops, free outdoor concerts, film screenings, networking opportunities, seminars, a pop-up arts market, and much more, Manifesto creates powerful and engaging experiences and provides opportunities for young artists to grow.
Manifesto’s point of origin lies in hip hop culture – in its spirit of ingenuity, raw creativity, and people power, but we strive to stay out of boxes and create a platform with the potential to act as a catalyst for cross-pollination, collaboration, and the growth of new forms in this city of wildly talented people."
Extremely glad we here for this right now. WHAT UP, E? Peep the info after the jump...
"You know that face you got, when a real gritty, rugged track came on and you just mean-mugged to the rhythm of the track? Like, you were feeling it, but you were feeling the rapper’s disgust for whatever it may be. Well, Eternia, one of hip hop’s elite female lyricists, can and will make any listener do that. Why? Because she’s mean on the mic, fierce with her poetry, and relentless with her assault.
Always representing Toronto to the fullest extent, E has enjoyed quite the successful year as herself and MoSS (producer) finally released their much anticipated album At Last on the legendary Fat Beats Records. The album has a variety of features ranging from Rah Digga, Rage (Lady of Rage), Jessica Kaya, Tona, Maestro, Joell Ortiz,Termanology, Reef The Lost Cauze, as well as Tiye Pheonix, Jean Grae and Ras Kass on remixes.
Not jaded by the critical acclaim and fan satisfaction, E stays real with it, “I do one thing, and one thing only, and that is emcee. That’s it.” And that she does well. Always on the cusp of being undoubtedly one of Toronto’s finest, Eternia has definitely garnered plenty of attention in her other hometown, New York. A scene where the underground is big, if not bigger, than the mainstream facet, Eternia knows the importance of showing T Dot talent to the world. “People weren’t watching Toronto until recently,” E says with Manifesto TV, “Our artists are different.” While Manifesto attempts to bridge the two hip hop communities of New York and Toronto together, Eternia is living proof that it is accomplishable. Catch her at the Manifesto Main Event, September 26th, 2010 at Dundas Square in Downtown Toronto."