It wouldn’t be a Canadian tour if you didn’t get stuck in the snow along the way; Which is exactly how T.I.’s Ottawa stop began when his tour bus broke down on his way from Barrie, ON. You ain’t in Georgia no more, TIP. No worries, the good guys at Diamond Mine Agency made sure the trek to Ottawa continued on. Piled into the “Liquor Store” by the 100’s, fans settled in and waited for T.I.’s debut performance in the capital.
Photo by Chizzle Photography
After waiting a good 45 minutes for T.I. to hit the stage, security swarmed in to clear the way and hold back an already jam-packed crowd. There was 15 minutes of chanting for the ATL rapper to come out before he finally made his way through a barrage of fans to get to the stage. Without saying a word, T.I. went straight into his 2006 banger “Top back” and got the crowd going wild. Even with a brand new album “Us or Else” and a tour to match, Troubleman still rifled through a setlist of top hits including “Whatever You Like”, “Live Your Life”, and “What You Know” among many more. Of course, being a promotional tour for “Us or Else”, he went into some new tracks featuring politically-charged lyrics about policing and oppression in modern day America.
Photos by Chizzle Photography
The crowd was hot— literally. This had to be one of the stickiest shows in the history of Ottawa performances. The further the night went on, the less clothes T.I. was wearing (but I’m sure the ladies didn’t mind). Regardless, everyone stayed until the last second, soaking up their first time seeing the king of the south in their city. “Whether you bought an album, seen a movie, got a Hustle Gang sweatshirt, whatever it is you did”, he went on to say in an appreciative moment with the crowd, “even if you were a hater, you made me go harder, I appreciate you too”. Staying true to his appreciation for his fans, the night ended off with a meet and greet where T.I. stayed for hours, until 3am, signing autographs and taking pictures with, hugging, and talking to his fans. A raw, unrelenting, and real artist– T.I. shut the city down.
Earlier in the night, we had a solid roster of Ottawa-based artists all eager to share the stage with such a legendary name.
Ceerouse: Fresh off a new single release “Ironic”, the raunchy rapper from Ottawa was the first to hit the stage. With a big responsibility of being the one to set the tone, Ceerouse did a stellar job amping the crowd and getting them excited for T.I. Rapidly spewing his twisted lyrics, the self proclaimed sinister super-villain had the crowd turned up and yelling his lyrics back at him. A truly dope and weird way to kick the night off.
4AM: We weren’t quite sure who or what 4AM was before this night, but many people in the crowd seemed to already know their lyrics. Based in both Toronto and Ottawa, 4AM are a duo made up of rapper Jonny Brown and producer Timeless Muzik. With more of a low-key aura to their music, the crowd was brought back down to a chill vibe that had them chanting for more later in the night.
Prehistoric: Being one of the vets in the Ottawa scene, it came as no surprise to find this guy on the same bill as someone like T.I. Known for his energy, provocative lyrics, and battle rap background, we knew we were in for an entertaining performance from Papa Pre. From freestyling part of his set to bringing up a special guest with beautiful vocals to help him with an emotional track, we were right to assume we’d be thoroughly entertained.
Frank Blak: Every opening performer came to rep for their city, but this rapper took the stage with Ottawa over his heart with an “OTT” jacket from an Ottawa-based brand “Over the Top”. His music heavily freestyle-driven, Frank Blak is known for his spit-fire flow and lyrics about his life.
Maurice Moore: Having just barely turned 19, it was impressive how in-tune with the stage and the crowd this guy is. Already a part of Kehlani’s “Tsunami Mob”, this Ottawa-born R&B is well on his way up. Backed by two dancers, Maurice put on a choreographed set with lyrics and moves that had the ladies wanting to drop the man they came with. He boasted numerous times about being from Ottawa and how much he loved his city– don’t forget about us when you’re chillin’ with Trey Songz on a yacht. Maurice performed a setlist of his own hits including “Criss Cross” and “C’est La Vie” (and more) along with a cover of Usher’s “Nice and Slow” to one lucky female fan.
Photos by Chizzle Photography
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