“It’s not ‘turn up,’ it’s ‘tun up,’ the ‘r’ is silent,” explains host and comedian, Quinn C Martin.
Friends hug and laugh, as candles slowly burn on a ledge next to Heinekens at The Rivoli. Framed black and white portraits of rappers Franchize and Kidd Menace, shot by photographer Megan Mcleod, hang on the wall.
On this night, the “Special Delivery” talent showcase is dedicated to celebrating the release of up and coming rappers, Franchize and Kidd Menace’s joint mixtape, Good Fellas.
“We didn’t expect it to get this deep, but it happened,” says Franchize. The two began their mixtape during their cycle in The Remix Project, Toronto’s coveted creative media arts program for young, aspiring talent. Good Fellas is named after, and heavily inspired by, one of the duo’s favourite films, so much so that snippets from the movie are included throughout the project.
“We didn’t expect it to get this deep, but it happened.” – Franchize
During their performance, the emcees step off the stage to daps people in the audience. They even get the crowd to chant their lyrics, like a newly learned mantra: “I gotta get this money right now!”
The rappers teamed up with the strikingly beautiful 22-year-old up singer, Faiza, to organize the networking release party. She appears to glide onto the stage owning a long, black dress. Friends and supporters quickly gather closer to the stage while she sings two songs from her first official project, “Made to Be” and “New Beginnings”, which is to be released June 13. Faiza’s undeniable skill to sway the audience with her beauty and vocals is made apparent as she sings her remake of Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna”.
After the performances, DJ Romeo hits the stage to play songs to ‘tun up’ to. Before the night is through, everyone receives a gift bag complete with a copy of Special Delivery, a Good Fellas lighter and an USB with cover art.
This edition of “Special Delivery” surely proves one thing: the love and support for local Toronto hip-hop is real.
Words By. Faduma Mohamed + Photos By. Janelle Scott-Johnson