Thursday February 27th was one of the coldest nights in Toronto but the night was sure to heat up as fans waited in line for a night that they were not going to forget. Tennessee was in the house as Top Dawg Entertainment’s Isaiah Rashad got set to headline his first solo show in Canada alongside Toronto resident and grime expert Tre-Mission. The full house of fans showed the alacrity the city had for the Tennessee rapper as they slowly entered the venue at Tattoo Queen West.
With most shows there’s a semi-long haul before the DJ even gets a chance to hit the stage. This gives the attendees time to get settled in with their drinks and other shenanigans before they begin to party. But this show was different, quickly setting the mood and expectations for what was to come that night. As fans entered the venue they were quickly acquainted with some of today’s top hits being spun by DJ Freeza as the lights above switched between a royal blue, yellow and purple dim. It was refreshing to see fans jump right into the music; you could see the excitement come on most faces as they continued to anticipate the arrival of the Chattanooga MC.
It was now a quarter past 11 as Toronto MC Tre-Mission jumped on stage to get the show going. He began by paying respects to the TDE artist for coming out to the city and guaranteeing the audience that they were in for a treat. Tre’s set was interesting and different than one would expect, especially for one seeing him on stage or hearing his music for the first time. His music falls into an area called grime rap that is eminent in the UK and slowly entering Canada’s music market. It was unbelievable how quickly Toronto adapted to his music and joined him during his catchy hooks. His whole performance shed a new light on the different types of rap music and the versatility with his rhymes. Fans embraced the difference as they head bobbed and jumped along with the versatile MC. His set included songs off his Malmaison mixtape including “Introdeuce” and “Flashlight Woah”, but it was “On Road” that really had the audience going, so much so DJ Freeza spun the track back 2 or so times before Tre actually got through the whole song.
Right on time, Isaiah’s DJ traded spots with DJ Freeza as he prepared the audience for the man of the hour by playing a selection of music from other members of the TDE family. The anticipation continued to grow as the ever humble Isaiah Rashad proceeded onto the stage. The crowd grew louder as he began his set with “Hereditary.” Fans sang in sync with the rapper as he performed tracks off his debut 14-track EP Cilvia Demo while prancing across the stage. He continued with “Weak Shit” but it was “RIP Kevin Miller” and the ever popular “Soliloquoy” that really had the whole audience on their feet jumping along. His shy demeanor did not stop him from really setting the roof on fire. The love Toronto had for the TDE MC was apparent; his motivation really was his inspiration as he closed his set with fan favourite “Shot You Down.”
As fans exited the venue it was clear Isaiah represented for his TDE family in Toronto that night. His passion for music continued to shine through as the night progressed. The show was more than fans could have expected from the rapper and definitely worth every penny they invested on their tickets. While Tre-Mission put Toronto at ease, Isaiah didn’t forget that southern hospitality when he travelled north of the border. His connection with the audience was one that fans don’t see too often with artists. He spoke volumes as he connected with each fan in the venue that night. It will be no surprise that the next time Isaiah rolls into town that he’ll have a bigger audience and a bigger stage. After that flawless performance by Isaiah Rashad, it is safe to say the TDE roster is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
For more Isaiah Rashad be sure to check out our full interview and let us know your thoughts on the Tennessee MC.
Review written by: Hayatt Baanks for The Come Up Show. Photography by: CZR-E for The Come Up Show.