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G&B: Apologies to Sting

It's been a blast, folks. The Worlds Most Popular Podcast is signing off. Truth to be told, there's not enough hours in the day for ...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

the bbq is back..

When I think of the golden days of my love for Hip Hop, I think of going down the dial on a Saturday afternoon trying to hear some faint tracks being spun by DJ X on a college radio station CKLN. It was about heading downtown to a record store and picking up a mixtape to hear some of the latest joints. And yeah, when I say tapes, I actually those little things that used to share a room on that huge thing that you used to listen to the radio on. As technology progressed, so did the culture and so did its kids.

One thing that I didn't get to experience, however - mainly due to age, was the nightlife. The early days of Hip Hop culture in Toronto. I'm proud to say that in the past decade, I've been able to witness some of the best moments in local urban history but I still wish I was there when the heads were planting the foundations on the ground that we rock on today. I hear from older friends about these clubs that I never knew existed, and of DJ's I never knew spun and of parties that I never knew went down. However, as a Hip Hop historian, especially of the Toronto scene, I knew of one party that inspired a bunch of local weeklies in the past 10 years including the one I personally threw in Richmond Hill just 8 years ago. The party was called Live At The BBQ which was inspired by that track by Main Source and more known for being Nas' first track. It was done by DJ X. It was a summer tradition which saw a bunch of venues including Toronto's classic nightspot, The Rivoli which brought together like minded music fans that were there to party and gathered for the same cause.

Hip Hop.

Over the years, that vibe inside the club atmosphere has been traded with people standing by the bar, not enjoying themselves and seem angry that they got all dressed up, battled traffic and paid money at the door to stand around all night to check out everyone else having a good time. However, Live at the BBQ - from what I heard - was never a let down. I even heard that time when former rapper turn actor Tom Green graced the BBQ stage with mixed feedback from the crowd. Every night was another chapter in Toronto's Hip Hop book.

More than 10 years later, the party is back. It will return on every long-weekend this summer starting off this Sunday doing an all day get-down from 3pm 'till the break of dawn at 3am. The lineup includes some old school T-Dot heavyweights and a huge all-day DJ list. It all goes down on the rooftop of The Drake Hotel which will also host a mid-day BBQ and performances starting at 11pm.

It'll be just a glimpse for the younger folk of what the local scene was built on. For the older heads, it'll be a ride back in time when Hip Hop, like the fans, were young and innocent and looking for some kind of ground to build on and a friend to help them grow.