Hip-Hop music took over Day 3 of the Ottawa Folk Festival as festival-goers welcomed Shad and Kendrick Lamar to the lineup.
Shadrach Kabango, better known by his recording name Shad, opened up the night’s festivities with a live performance on the CUPE-SCFP Stage. The Canadian alternative rapper, who was born in Kenya of Rwandan parents, is no stranger to the National Capital, having performed at the House of PainT festival in 2012. For the occasion, he was joined on stage by DJ T Lo who delivered vintage beats and showed off some impressive scratching skills. A good crowd was already gathered in front of the Main Stage for headliner Kendrick Lamar, but the Shad fans held their own and attentively took in Shad’s witty humor and words of wisdom. Although festival-goers were rather quiet at first, they eventually warmed up to Shad who won most of them over by engaging with the audience on numerous occasions. Shad delivered a solid set of conscious hip-hop, proving to be quite the lyricist. His set list included material from his previous Polaris-nominated and Juno-winning albums The Old Prince and TSOL like The Old Prince Still Lives at Home, A Good Name and finished with Keep It Shining. He also premiered new tunes off of the LP Flying Colours namely Stylin scheduled to be released in October. Shad came back for an encore with I Don’t Like To and saluted the audience for their presence and applause.
Over on the RavenLaw Stage, Canadian blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Matt Andersen took to the stage solo in front of a big crowd that only got bigger as he sang and strummed his acoustic guitar. Although he was alone on stage, The New Brunswickan musician didn’t need anyone else as his soulful voice and guitar-playing skills alone impressed festival-goers right from the start. Andersen belt out beautiful blues and his set list included the pieces Cold Mining Blues, Better Man Blues, and So Gone Now. The talented bluesman concluded his 75-minute performance with The Devil’s Bride much to the crowd’s delight. He thanked the public on several occasions, happy to have been in the National Capital to perform for the Folk Festival.
Meanwhile, young festival-goers were making their way to the Main Stage to catch the headliner of day 3, the American hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar. The 26-year old Compton-born rapper attracted a huge crowd of university students and hip adults alike for his debut performance in Canada’s capital city. The show hadn’t event started yet that a cloud of marijuana smoke formed over the pot-smoking crowd. Soon enough however, the Money Trees intro was heard over the speakers, announcing the arrival of the acclaimed-rapper. Lamar spit the second verse off of m.A.A.d. City after which he got right into his set with Backseat Freestyle as the crowd hyped up. Although he was accompanied by a keyboardist, a bassist, a guitarist and drummer, he single-handedly owned the stage and projected lots of energy affirming people needed their money’s worth. He even threw in a freestyle for good measure.
The set list included the tracks P & P, Fuckin’ Problems, Money Trees, the popular Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe, Poetic Justice, Real, The Art of Peer Pressure, The Recipe, and the hit Swimming Pools (Drank) most of which are found on his major label debut studio album good kid m.A.A.d. city. Lamar encouraged the crowd to participate throughout the show and he interacted with festival-goers repeatedly while thanking the audience for their love and support as it was “an honor” for him to be in Ottawa for the first time. He concluded his set by delivering A.D.H.D., the only song performed from his Section.80, promising to be back in the National Capital. Ottawa certainly did not disappoint for a change and neither did Kendrick Lamar as he proved to be an excellent live performer and crowd-pleaser.
The Ottawa Folk Festival continues until Sunday, September 8 with performances by Hey Ocean!, Hayden, The Sheepdogs, Gordon Lightfoot, and The Wailers among many others. To access the full festival lineup visit the Ottawa Folk Fest website at http://ottawafolk.com/.