Last week, rapper Jordan Solomon (also known as J Solo) uploaded a video to Youtube titled, in all caps, “PERFORMING IN MONTREAL.” In the two-minute clip of him driving in his car, Solomon said, “I’m letting any subscribers I have in Montreal know that I’m doing a show there, so I just wanted to put it on all platforms in case you wanted to come see me live.” The crowd responded, and on Friday night, rap fans across the city poured into Bar le Ritz, excited for the performance-packed night ahead of them.
Solomon’s career began when he posted his first song, “Lie For Me,” on Soundcloud in 2015, although it wasn’t until the release of his single, “Lil Lil,” in 2016 that his catalogue made its debut on streaming platforms. Today, his music is available on iTunes and Spotify with over 100,000 listeners on each platform. He is half-Trinidadian, and his background is reflected in the unique tropical-sounding instrumentals featured on his tracks, all of which are produced by his good friend and producer, Phantum. These two, along with his senior agent and creative director form a musical movement known as Karma Club.
The event was organized by young Montreal videographer Olly Evergreen, who discovered Solomon’s music online and loved it so much that he arranged for him to come to the city. At 9:30 p.m., Solomon and the rest of Karma Club took the stage to headline for a crowd that was already heated up after special guest DJ Savi J, as well as opening sets by local up-and-coming rappers Dev, Gxlden Child, Seven LC and Rome.
Halfway through his performance, Solomon showed that he loves getting the crowd hyped-up just as much as he loves performing. “Stop it for a sec,” he told Phantum before the next track was about to begin. “I just wanted to say that I love Montreal. It might even be the best city in Canada, but I’ll need proof.” After the words left his mouth, Phantum blared hits “SICKO MODE” and “Mo Bamba,” while Solomon turned up with the bobbing crowd. “It’s official,” he said afterwards. “Montreal is the best city in Canada.”
To end the night, Solomon brought his entire crew on stage while he sang the lyrics to one of his more recent popular tracks, “Oh Me Oh My.” “I need everyone bumping for this one,” he said. The moment that followed was a perfect encapsulation of the energy that fuelled the evening: a stage packed with people danced along to the lyrics, overlooking a crowd of fans jumping to the beat with their hands high in the air.
Before heading backstage, Solomon thanked the crowd, told those who were interested to meet up at Apt. 200 for an afterparty, and promised to meet and chat with any fans who stuck around afterward. The 17-year-old rapper’s music is fun and catchy, but proving his dedication to his listeners and ability to put on a great show exemplifies what looks like a promising career ahead of him, while also leaving his fan base wanting more.