Lou Phelps gets higher

Montreal rapper is ready to break out with his brother Kaytranada

Previously, Louis-Philippe Celestin may have simply been known as Montreal producer Kaytranada’s brother. Now, he is a standalone artist known as Lou Phelps.

On Friday evening, Le Belmont hosted Montreal hip hop fans for a memorable night of local talent. Montreal West Island rapper Maky Lavender first took the stage at 11 p.m., sipping from a straw in his bottle of Tanqueray gin. Beginning his set with “Fairview Term,” Lavender’s charisma and vibrant presence set the precedent for the hours of lively hip hop to come.

While DJ NMK may have initiated a “SIP! SIP! SIP!” chant for Maky to sip from the bottle, it was the crowd that quickly turned this request into “CHUG! CHUG! CHUG!” at the end of every song.

“Y’all are absolutely crazy. It’s like you want me to die,” Maky said with a smile on his face.

Gin in one hand and mic in another, Maky Lavender spits while he sips on stage. Photo by Louis Pavlakos

Tony Stone of Planet Giza hopped on stage to perform his feature on their crowd-pleasing song, “Keep Up.” Maky went on to sing “Ukannafo (The Susan Song)” with fans hollering the chorus right back at him. Hours later, Maky could be seen standing on top of the DJ booth at Apt. 200, still sipping.

After a brief intermission, Phelps opened up with “Uptempo,” a collaboration song by him and his brother, Kaytranada, under the name The Celestics. Calm and collected, Phelps’s stage presence was a mix of cocky and humble, flawlessly delivering his verses to a packed venue. Stone was called back on stage to perform the Planet Giza-featured tracks, “Fun N Games” and “2 Seater,” off of Phelp’s newest album, 002 / LOVE ME. The two performers showed off their chemistry and crowd swaying abilities throughout the set.

Phelps’s track “Average” off his first album 001: Experiments showed the first signs of a mosh pit within the crowd. He was able to temporarily calm this down by requesting that the audience squat down for his intro to “Want To (For the Youth),” but the chorus drop found the crowd right back where it left off. The energy only escalated from there when “Miss Phatty” came through the speakers, one of the lead singles from his sophomore album.

Continuing with his most recent hits, Phelps performed “Squeeze” and then called artist Pony to the mic to sing their collaboration song, “Tasty.” Yet, the reaction to “Come Inside” made it clear that it was one of the songs the audience was waiting for. Phelps played “Higher” after asking “Montreal, you trying to get higher?,” and went on to close his set with “Come Inside” for the second time. This time, he had a different guest to accompany him. After walking on stage to cheers and applause, Kaytranada hugged his brother and got behind the DJ booth to spin the track that he produced.

Phelps and his brother in the zone. Photo by Louis Pavlakos

Phelps thanked the crowd for their love and support and exited the stage. However, Kaytranada was the DJ for the rest of the night and played a variety of mixes, both his own and other artists’s. This treat kept fans on the dance floor and the vibes up all night long.

For a man who has played at international festivals with crowds of thousands, and collaborated with huge artists, it is admirable that one can still catch Kaytranada spinning for 100 people at Le Belmont on a Friday night. If only passerbys walking down St. Laurent knew who was playing inside.

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