Happy Canadian Music Week, Toronto. Festival season has arrived, which means you’ll probably see me running around the city at some point this week with a media pass and a camera around my neck, my recorder in one hand and a Red Bull in the other. But I can’t complain, it’s my Christmas.

This will be my third year covering the panels, events and shows for Urbanology and this year’s line-up looks like it may even top the others and that says a lot considering last year I witnessed Action Bronson crowd surfing, I had Tyler the Creator profess his love to your freckle-faced girl in the media pit (aka moi), I turned up to a DJ set from Jermaine Dupri, I interviewed Charlie Clips and DNA at King of the Dot’s Vengeance 2 and I met artists from different genres from all over the world. A lot of ridiculous CMW memories.

Imagine if we implemented the #WeTheNorth mentality in our music scene? That kind of backing, that kind of genuine encouragement?

We tend to look at our Canadian infrastructure and poke holes in it. It’s not SXSW, it’s not A3C, it’s not Coachella, so what’s the point? The point is, it’s ours, it’s what we have and it’s growing. So cop a wristband, buy a ticket and see the show.

It’s great to see so many Canadian hip-hop artists on this year’s bill. Tre Mission, The 6th Letter, Sean Leon, Naturally Born Strangers, ShaqIsDope, Blake Carrington, Brandon Chey and the list goes on. Remember to get out and support the local talent just as much as the headliners that are invading the city this week. It’s not just about the Travi$ Scotts, the M.I.As and the Flatbush Zombies. It’s our time to celebrate, actually celebrate, Canadian music. We tend to forget the type of talent we brush shoulders with every day. Imagine if we implemented the #WeTheNorth mentality in our music scene? That kind of backing, that kind of genuine encouragement?

In preparation for CMW and the week concerts that we have among us, I’m bringing an old article out of the vault, my Toronto rap show commandments. It never fails; we see them at every show. We may all be guilty of one or two ourselves. If you have a story about any of these commandments below, hit me up samantics @ urbanologymag.com.

Toronto Hip-Hop Show Etiquette: How To Be A Toronto Fan

11. Get extremely intoxicated and slow-grind to trap music. I’m looking at you Sarah and Dave.
10. Show up three hours after the show is supposed to start and you’ll be there on time.
9. Stand by the wall/bar for all opening acts, but turn all the way up for the headliner.
8. Clubbing gear is acceptable. Ladies, wear your highest heels, because it only makes sense.
7. Twitpic/Instagram every highlight of the show or else you weren’t there and it never happened.
6. When the artist says, “make some noise” or “put your hands up”, don’t do it. You are too cool for that.
5. Don’t pre-roll your spliffs/blunts. Make sure to roll up at the venue so everyone can see how live you are.
4. Go ham for free gear.
3. When the DJ spins, spit along to every track you know, except Drake’s verses.
2. Record the show on your phone instead of enjoying it live.
1. Keep a permanent screw face. In fact, act like you are having zero fun and hate music altogether.
Or, you can just skip the show completely and just hit up the after party…

Photo By. Janelle Scott-Johnson

Samantics is a weekly column, written by columnist Samantha O’Connor, highlighting and discussing the Toronto hip-hop community – the talent, the identity, the events, the slang, the industry and all things in between.

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