Community is everything when it comes to the hip hop culture and no one in Ottawa has been doing it better than House of Paint. In its 12th year, the block party styled festival brought together all of the elements of hip hop, from graffiti to rap, just like it always has. Titled “Pass the Mic” this year, there were five days filled with poetry slams, beat battles, conferences, dance battles, and countless live performances. Once again House of Paint organizers brought us at Envy Magazine out to be a part of the noise, so we snapped some stuff for you. Day one for us at the Concert Under the Bridge started out with performances Jonathan Emile, Moun Fou, Aspects,Vnchy, Buck N’ Nice, and lets not forget to mention the boss of all performances, Aspect’s adorable daughter (everyone say “aww” on 3…).
All the while, some of the sickest dancers in the city took to the dance floor to provide some offside, damn-near-neck-breaking entertainment. Pausing from the live music performances, some top eight popping battles took place on stage and they all killed it– a lot of young talent probably unheard of in this city.
The night continued with the first headlining performance from supergroup, Demigodz. From CT to ON, Apathy and Celph-Titled, alongside NME, ripped the stage for their loyal Ottawa fans. Jam-packed with a smooth flow and a gritty beat, the three were a perfect beginning of the show’s end. Closing out the concert was the legendary Buckshot and DJ Evil Dee of Black Moon. It’s been a while since we’ve seen these guys in Ottawa but they never missed a step with a humble and charismatic performance from them both. Of course, there was a quick, but heartfelt shout out from Buckshot to the recently passed, Sean P, giving a perfect ending to their set.
Day two was filled with things happening from every corner of the festival from graffiti arts, food and drinks, dance battles, music performances, and even workshops. Hip hop purists gathered once again under Dunbar bridge to soak in the true meaning of the culture as a whole. The main stage was packed with performances from some of our local favourites, Kool Krys, Blackdenim, and Flight Distance, among several dope DJ sets and other great performances. The finale of the main event closed out with the final bboy battle followed by a headlining performance from Toronto rapper Jazz Cartier.
Photos by Alexandre Brault
It’s another one for the books for House of Paint; Here’s to next year!