Rascalz rip it up

Solid Rascalz show hindered by late start

Checkmate got things started for the Rascalz Tuesday night at Elixir.
Checkmate got things started for the Rascalz Tuesday night at Elixir.

Canadian hip hop has been making a charge all year, and the Rascalz have been working as hard as anyone to break into the mainstream.

The Rascalz are no strangers to Kingston, this being at least their third visit to the town where Big Sugar and the Tea Party rule the night. So if its around, you should take advantage and check it out. They were in town Tuesday night with Checkmate, another member of the Northern hip hop collective.

Checkmate opened up the show with the help of the Black Knight and DJ Flipout, and the already pumped-up crowd got into it right away. After quizzing the crowd on B.C. chronic they went on to smoke a blunt and get down to business.

Checkmate looked in place behind the mic, the Black Knight’s backup is solid and Flipout lays down some nice cuts and beats, and so what if the needle skipped a few times, right? With an album coming out later this year, we’ll hopefully be seeing Checkmate in bigger and better places.

The Rascalz, led by MCs Red 1 and Misfit hit the stage hard, flanked by break dancers. From where I’m standing, all I could see were legs in the air and the couple making out in front of me, but I was told that the show was awesome. At one point a ravenous groupie made her way up on stage. After busting some moves, her enthusiasm earned her a trip backstage. Well, Elixir has no backstage, so it earned her a trip to the Rascalz’ mini-van parked outside.

The show went over well, but delays put a serious damper on the whole evening. We seemed to spend way more time listening to records than watching anything live.

First the Elixir DJ spun records for a couple of hours. Then Flipout came out, and he did his set before Checkmate came on stage. And after Checkmate was done, Kimo came out and did his set while Red 1 and Misfit waited in the wings.

The Rascalz didn’t go on until 1am and the sign outside had the nerve to say “be here early.” Nevertheless, I had to respect the crowd for keeping the energy level high and basically making the night a success.

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