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Fire on the thirteenth floor

by Louis Pavlakos February 25, 2020
Fire on the thirteenth floor

Haviah Mighty and Lou Phelps join forces to put on a fantastic show at Le Belmont

The rap scenes of Toronto and Montreal have been at odds for a little while now. There aren’t many collaborations between artists in both cities but the Haviah Mighty and Lou Phelps show at Le Belmont on Feb. 21 proves that talent runs deeper than just the big names.

While the top billing showed that Mighty was the headliner, her and Phelps shared the stage for equal amounts of time at around 45 minutes each. Before them, Montreal rapper CJ Flemings warmed up the crowd.

Phelps arrived shortly after Flemings’ performance to a fairly empty venue. Most people had gathered in the back to sit and grab drinks until the lights dimmed and Phelps’ funky instrumentals started playing. In between album releases, Phelps bounced back and forth from his best hits like “2 Seater” and “Miss Phatty” off his 002/Love Me project and songs from his upcoming album Black Vogue Funk.

Montreal rapper Lou Phelps.

The transitions were seamless but the production on the new tracks sounded like they were hits-to-be. He never quite gave out the individual track names, but the songs seemed ready and Phelps performed them with shining confidence that made up for the crowd’s lack of knowledge of his songs.

The crowd was into it until Phelps asked if anyone loved weed—a question responded to by only a few cheers and claps. Funny enough, when Phelps asked the crowd to sing “Smoke that Shit,” everyone sang along.

Phelps’ performance was great but the crowd was ready for Haviah Mighty. 

When the Toronto rapper got on stage, the crowd got tighter and the breathing room became sparse. Mighty exuded confidence as if she was born and raised on stage.

On top of being a lively performer, Mighty also took plenty of time to speak to the crowd between tracks, shouting out her DJ and a producer from the album that happened to be in the crowd.

During the show, Mighty even got off stage and joined the crowd to incredible results. The audience was cheering, yelling, dancing, and everything in between while Mighty performed songs off her Polaris Prize-winning album Thirteenth Floor.

Toronto rapper Haviah Mighty.

Mighty is a talented and fierce rapper and it shows––especially when she performed “In Women Colour” without a beat before restarting it with the full fury of the production to back her. Even when she sang, it felt natural. “Wishy Washy” is a hidden gem of a song that should have gotten more radio-play than it did. Her sister, Omega Mighty, who was featured on the studio version of the track, couldn’t make it to the show so Haviah opted to sing her verse instead, and it sounded fantastic.

Neither rapper took up too much of the time which allowed for both performances to excel without overshadowing the other. The only problem with the show was that there weren’t enough people at the venue.

When talent like this occupies a small venue, it should be filled to max capacity. Despite this, Haviah Mighty and Lou Phelps put on an excellent show for  their fellow Canadians.

 

Photos by Ora Bar

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