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


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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