El-P and Killer Mike
RUN THE JEWELS with DESPOT & KOOL A.D. at the Hoxton (69 Bathhurst), tonight (Thursday, July 11), 10 pm. $20. RT, SS, TW. See listing.
Critically lauded separately, rappers Killer Mike and El-P are even more dynamic as a duo - their debut eponymous album is one of 2013's best.
Run The Jewels play the Hoxton tonight. It's not the first time established emcees have joined forces, but catch them together while you can: hip-hop history shows that two is company, but usually for a brief spell.
Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Talib Kweli rose from the underground of conscious New York hip-hop in the 90s. They produced one brilliant album, 1998's Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, which boasts classics Respiration and Brown Skin Lady. They went on to prosperous solo careers and last performed in Toronto together in 2011. Rumours of a follow-up continue to swirl.
Yasiin Bey plays the Phoenix on July 18. Talib Kweli plays UNITY Festival: National UNITY Day at Yonge-Dundas Square on July 20.
Watch The Throne
It was the first time the world's two most important rappers collaborated as emcees on an entire album. Jay-Z and Kanye West introduced the world to the song that would spawn 100 movie trailers (No Church In The Wild) and the track that would spawn 100 encores (Ni**as In Paris), plus two brand new words in our colloquial dictionary ("ninja" and "cray").
Oh, and it was most people's introduction to Frank Ocean. (Sweet baby Jesus, those hooks!) This month Mike Dean, a Ye & Jay-affiliated producer, confirmed WTT 2 is happening. I'll believe it when the official announcement happens. My guess is a CN Tower projection of Blue IV's first raps.
Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake play the Rogers Centre on July 17. See our review of Jay-Z's new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.
Rich Kidd & SonReal
In 2012, Toronto's Rich Kidd and Vancouver's SonReal came together for The Closers, an album that brought two city-proud music men together in a burst of west-meets-east patriotism (see Hometown).
It spawned a tour and a Juno nomination - for now at least.
Rich Kidd plays the Velvet Underground, Friday (July 12), and UNITY Festival: National UNITY Day at Yonge-Dundas Square on July 20.