By: Colin Rabyniuk –
Not even the spectre of thunderstorms could keep away the crowds last night as Ghostface Killah and Raekwon took the stage at Yonge and Dundas Square for NXNE’s grande finale.
The estimated 8.000 people though, seemed to miss the memo that it wasn’t raining. At one point, Ghost stopped mid-song to reenergize the tepid crowd.
“I want y’all to see me. Tony Stark’s battery is running low. I need you to be my battery,” he said.
They then played Protect Ya Neck, bringing up two fans to rap Method Man and ODB’s verses. That seemed to get the crowd going.
The set was dominated by their solo work.
After a surprise appearance by Toronto rapper and Raekwon-protege JD-Era, Shaolin’s finest explored the rest of the Wu discography, including an abbreviated version of Shimmy Shimmy Ya featuring ODB’s teenage son.
An ecstatic SkratchBastid provided the music, rapping along with almost every word.
Queens rapper Action Bronson played in the light rain earlier in the day. He hung out near the barrier high-fiving the audience and distributing his lit joints.
Walking back up to the stage he paused for breath and said “I wasn’t kidding when I said I was 340. Ten second break. Light weed up. If the cops take you in, I’m going with you!” It’s hard not to like an emcee as generous and self-deprecating as that.
Much-heralded Killer Mike played next. It was a rough set. During a verse in R.A.P. Killer Mike was rapping out of sync with his backtrack. Later, he cut the music after Trackstar threw too early to the song’s hook. He ended strong though with the political tracks Burn and Reagan, speaking about the politics in his country and in the rap scene before each one.
“I am on the side of the people,” he explained, “because if you don’t give them what they want they will burn this motherfucker down.”