Hip-hop's past, present and future are coming to town
Grandmaster Flash and his Furious Five had the first politically fuelled rap hit with The Message. Afrika Bambaataa founded the Universal Zulu Nation. Together, the groundbreaking 1970s-onward Bronx DJs were part of a movement that invented a genre. See them spin The Lost Art Of Hip-Hop at the Phoenix, September 27.
Nas’s 1993 debut, Illmatic, holds up as the quintessential, defining landmark album for East Coast rap. He brings his Time Is Illmatic tour to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 8.
Hip-hop eventually spread to the other coast and north of the border. California’s Top Dawg Entertainment no. 2 emcee, Schoolboy Q, plays the Molson Amphitheatre with local alt-R&B royalty the Weeknd and L.A. singer Jhené Aiko on September 21.
They’re not yet household names, but you wouldn’t guess it from the kids in bucket hats who know every one of their bars by heart. NYC teenager Joey Bada$$ throws back to the golden age at the Guvernment on September 28 Mississippi Def Jam signee Big K.R.I.T. shares the bill with ATL collective Two-9 at Tattoo on October 10 and Charlotte, North Carolina, emcee Deniro Farrar plays Tattoo with Denzel Curry on October 17.