The New Year brings a new home to the monthly Toronto hip-hop showcase event, Big Ticket. On the second Friday night of the month, Wrongbar was filled with passionate hip-hop supporters. The small stage housed large talents like rapper Dan-e-o, who was also the host of the night, as well as performances by Solitaire and up-and-coming rap duo, LIU.

At first, the crowd stood shyly and bumped their heads to the records DJ Mel Boogie pulled from the early ’90s, like G-Dep’s “Special Delivery” and classics from Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes and Method Man. Soon a circle was formed and break dancers took their turns to show off their stunts. Surely, the break-dancers helped to break the ice. As they danced, the music got louder, people started to open up and the genuine Big Ticket vibe began to kindle.

The crowd gave an abundance of love to hip-hop artist Eternia, who stunned the audience with her grace and jaw dropping rhymes.

The crowd gave an abundance of love to hip-hop artist Eternia, who stunned the audience with her grace and jaw dropping rhymes, while rocking striped tights and a smooth black leather jacket. By her side, warm in his King of the Dot sweater, award-winning beat boxer Scott Jackson accompanied the emcee with his spectacular skills.

Rich Kidd also held his set down, while holding two beer bottles, one of which was playfully snatched by an audience member.

With a successful turnout, Big Ticket offered supporters the new space they need to keep the spirit of hip-hop alive in the city. Specs One, artist and long-time Big Ticket attendee, says the new venue is a positive change. “The venue itself is geared more towards this kind of thing… It’s a good vibe.”

Sometimes, change is exactly what is needed to grow.

Words By. Faduma Mohamed + Photos By. Janelle Scott-Johnson