Fabolous / Dej Loaf concert review
Jan 26 2015
Fabolous / Dej Loaf concert review
Kool Haus/The Guvernment: LAST SHOW EVER
by Addi "Mindbender Supreme" Stewart
So, it all came to a close last night. No more Kool Haus/Guvernment down on Queens Quay. It's been like 20+ years Toronto has been going to concerts there!
But, we are still living in Babylon, we can't forget that. The great monster known as capitalism will set its sights on something you love -someday-. That day came.
Last night was the final show EVER at Kool Haus, and it got shut down by internationally known club music DJ Deadmau5. It was probably pretty hype, yo. Big up Deadmau5 for the honor, and peace to everyone who was in the building last night to dance up the final storm before condominiums come in and ruin history.But I wasn't in the building last night for Deadmau5, I was all up in the spot last Thursday, for THE FINAL HIP HOP CONCERT AT KOOL HAUS!
It was called #FreshFest, and it featured Roc Nation signee Fabolous and Detroit new comer Dej Loaf came and smashed her first official Toronto show with gusto and energy. Nice of her to bring some ladies on stage to dance with her, and her willingness to jump in the crowd and jam with the peoples dem was a good look. Hit record "Try Me" got rinsed so fresh and clean, while "Blood" & "Me U & Hennessy" were a few of the other joints she smashed into the audience's open mind. Her military costume betrayed her tiny sexy frame, and her commanding presence proved that she's got what it takes to do the damn thing in 2015 hip hop.
Before Fab rocked, super hot trail of stunning supermodels came out to set the tone for the night, and it was a nice backdrop to provide his playalistic Hova-lite NYC ghetto witticisms he expresses in his F-A-B-O-L-O-U-S way. He came blasting "Lituation" out the gate and played a few other brand new Young OG songs. "The Soul Tape 3" also got burn, and dropping the Kanye West-sampling "Young OG" was my highlight of the night! Fucking killed that shit. But, it must be said: Fab is a solid lyricist and a consistent contributer to NYC hip hop history and culture... but he just wasn't bringing the A-plus superstar potential that had him get onto Jay-Z's new business venture. He did good enough though, and delivered his decade-plus of hits in workmanlike fashion, even though he was dressed in a leather bomber and draped in gold necklaces and diamond rings. It was nice to go backwards in time and hear Big Apple rap jams like "Make U Better" and "Throw It In The Bag". He simply rocked the stage with songs, didn't do anything too wild, and even graciously said "soundman, can you turn the mics DOWN? Please turn the mic down." which was the first time in 23 years of watching rap that I have ever heard an MC ask the soundman to turn DOWN the mic. Shoutout to Fabolous for that, actually!
I just want to highlight: the winner of the absolute WORST statement initiating crowd interaction EVER, when Fabolous said: "are the light-skinned girls hotter than the dark-skinned girls up in here?" To which most people simply did NOT reply, and just ignored that ignorant ass shit. I've never been so offended by a request for crowd interaction in my life.
When he said "I'ma take it back from my day ones", I was like "Is he gonna do a tribute to fallen soldier Nate Dogg now, with 'Y'all Can't Deny It'?" But, nah. What we got was Just Blaze's banger "Breathe", which still sounded like some fresh air. "U Be Killin Em" and "Dip It Low" plus "Shawty is a Ten", his R&B collab jams. Ultimately, it was a pretty straight forward rap concert, but Fabolous did give a notable little salute to the Kool Haus, before he said peace out.
So, it's the end of an era for a iconic venue in Toronto. Anyone who says they are a concert-goer in this music city has to have been to the big, dutty purple-black building down by the waterfront. So, who have I seen at Kool Haus? Oh lord, the list is nearly endless... but I was there for a rare A Tribe Called Quest reunion show, when Q-Tip rocked that funny little bowtie. I saw the Blackstar reunion show there, where Talib Kweli rocked, Mos Def rocked, then they rocked the spot together like whoa. How about the time Kanye came running out with his Roc-a-fella chain, when Talib Kweli brought him almost a decade ago? And then there was the time that some unknown singer named Jill Scott came and performed 'You Got Me' for the Roots because Erykah Badu couldn't be there. Yup, the Guvernement/Kool Haus has been around long enough that Jill Scott was once unknown as she belted out pristine magic from that big dutty stage. I saw Common there do a windmill once. I also saw Nas do some b-boying on that stage, he was poppin' and lockin', and he also brought out a motherfucking COFFIN to hold the turntables, during the Hip Hop Is Dead tour. He even performed some of 'Ether', which is a song he said he may never perform again. But once, he actually performed the Jay-Z-killer, at the Kool Haus. I was there. Historians may remember Jay-Z was actually supposed to perform at Guvernment for his Blueprint tour as well, but it got shut down after September 11th, 2001. That building has history! I remember when Mobb Deep came through there... twice. Their 20th anniversary show for 'The Infamous' just happened, but they also came about 5 years ago... and after the show, there was gunfire in the parking lot. Damn homie! Honestly, there have been too many amazing concerts at Kool Haus to mention them all, but it's pretty dope that Wu-Tang Clan's first show in Toronto was there, as well as Boot Camp Clikk, in 1993. It goes back that far! Differently, still: Mindbender Supreme aka Mr. Front Row and Center Stage at countless concerts in Toronto music history, salutes all the fine bartenders (what up Gracie!), security guards, owners and of course, MUSICIANS, who came to perform their magical songs for the people of this wonderful, entertainment-loving city.
Big up to those who SURVIVED the Hit Squad tour, where Raekwon, Smif n Wessun, and I think Method Man didn't make it, but EPMD and DJ Scratch did... and damn near everyone got robbed at the venue... and the show was like THREE HOURS LATE to start... and Supernatural was hosting, but it didn't solve much of the problems... and, about five minutes before before EPMD got on stage, the ONE saving grace of the night, someone threw a Heineken bottle and it smashed into DJ Scratch's face, then spilling on his laptop!!!! HOLY SHIT, WERE THE HIP HOP GODS NOT WANTING TORONTO TO SEE ANYBODY PERFORM THAT NIGHT!!!!
Seeing the anger on Parrish Smith and Erick Sermon's faces as they desperately wanted to escape this city, and seeing the FURY of DJ Scratch, as his laptop AND face was covered in dirty beer was one of the most INSANE nights I ever experienced at the Kool Haus... and I'm glad I lived to tell the story. Good times!