NATURALLY BORN STRANGERS at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club (722 College), Friday (January 31), doors 9 pm. $10. LI.
When Toronto apparel company TheLegendsLeague's founder and head designer Bryan Espiritu wanted a musical component that embodied the spirit of his clothing line, he approached Rich Kidd, Tona and Adam Bomb, three of the GTA's finest and most prolific emcees, hailing from Mississauga, Scarborough and Toronto.
Thus, Naturally Born Strangers. But these three guys have already been rapping circles around each other for years. The NBS mixtape (available via Audiomack) dropped in December, and it all comes together on Friday in a pop-up shop/show at the Mod Club.
In a mission statement, the trio explain that NBS "represents those born and raised differently who don't associate themselves with common communal circles" and make "a proclamation of pride in the power of being disliked, unwanted or obscure, weird or foreign to the norm."
A manifesto for non-conformity if we've ever heard one.
With the Rich Kidd-produced mixtape receiving major hype (both critical and mass) and their TheLegendsLeague line adorning every urban hipster west of Yonge, the group is redefining what it means to be different while simultaneously shedding any lingering element of obscurity.
Check out this track: Parkdale party anthem Jameson Ave.
Furiously energetic and intensely charismatic, Kidd regularly wears emcee, producer and director hats. Powerful audio/visuals that connect with his audience and slick and gritty production combine with emotional lyrics to kick you in the gut.
Check out this track: confessional banger I'd Be Lying.
Bomb's cleverly crafted rhymes will stay with you long after he's finished delivering them solo at rap battles and en masse with collectives like Freedom Writers. Real, raw and often tackling vital subject matter, he doesn't pull any punches.
Check out this track: head-nodding reality check Real Shit.
His hip-hop connections run deep. Bomb and Tona are linked through Freedom Writers, and Tona has credited Kidd with keeping him motivated and inspired throughout the production of his 2013 release, Silverspring Crescent. Layered and versatile with a distinctive voice and easy flow.
Check out this track: house party staple Weed And Alcohol.