By: Lucy Sky –
It’s not often in life that you get a little reminder of why you do what you do and are lucky enough to fall in love with it again, but be grateful if it happens. Classified hit the Bourbon Room in Ottawa last night on his Beautiful Escape tour, and the name of the tour speaks for itself. It may have been a quite Tuesday night in downtown Ottawa, but everyone in that club had taken a night to escape their reality and embrace the moment.
While the night started off slow and seemed to drag on forever, none of that mattered anymore when Classified hit the stage. Getting the crowd hyped up for the main attraction were performances from local Ottawa talents Swift Crew, JR, Made Wade, and Prehistoric. You could still see it in their faces, hear it in their enthusiastic performances, and the obvious shout outs, just how honoured they were to be sharing a stage with a Canadian rap icon who’s been around for 15 years.
The hype was huge, the crowd was beyond engaged, and the experience was nothing less than uplifting. There aren’t many artists who will stand on stage and have a normal conversation with the crowd, genuinely trying to get to know them. About a third of the way through his set, Classified took the time to ask fans what their names were, where they were from, and what they do. One of them actually became a part of the show as later on when he reached out to the crowd for someone to sing an older track of his called “All About You”. Thankfully, unlike when he performed at Bluesfest years back, this fan knew all of the words. After the song finished, he prompted her to do a stage dive, and as reluctant as the mother of four was to do so, Nirvana hit the speakers and she dove into the arms of the crowd. Only to be showed up with a much more enthusiastic stage dive moments later from her daughter.
The music industry is such a chaotic business to be in, but it’s one of the most refreshing things ever to see such a strong personality stay true like it did with Classified. He doesn’t need to rap about getting laid and doing drugs, on the contrary, he can get an entire club screaming at the top of their lungs about what it’s like to have a child and how he’s never been an advocate of any hard drugs. That’s something inspiring in itself. Not to mention the clear love for his fans, taking the time to stop and read a note from a fan in the crowd, getting to know his audience by first name, and making a distinct effort to put a smile on every single person’s face. It was a terrific show, jam packed with old favourites, new tracks, and new memories.