On July 29, 2014 Taylor Gang’s very own, Wiz Khalifa brought his third annual Under The Influence of Music tour to Toronto. This year’s highly anticipated visit featured a lineup of both, emerging and established artists including Ty Dolla $ign, Young Jeezy, Rich Homie Quan, IAMSU!, Mack Wilds, and DJ Drama.
Hitting the stage at 5:30pm sharp, DJ Drama’s infamous voice could be heard throughout the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre as he officially kicked things off. Playing cuts from Khalifa’s latest mixtape, 28 Grams, hosted by Mr. Thanksgiving himself. Drama also played songs including Chevy Woods’ “30 Deep,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle,” and Lil Wayne’s “I’m Going In.” Speaking into the microphone, he said, “Shout out to my 80s babies in here, and shout out to my 90’s babies in here,” as loud screams could be heard. DJ Drama kept the crowd entertained by also playing Chinx Drugz “I’m A Coke Boy,” Drake’s “Up All Night,” and 2 Chainz’ “Spend It.” After a quick rain shower forced those sitting on the lawn to leave, they quickly returned as Drama played Gucci Mane’s “Wasted” followed by “Believe Me.” He mentioned how busy of a weekend it was considering the fact that the Under the Influence of Music tour, OVO Fest, and Caribana were all taking place within a week of each other.
The opening act for the evening, Mack Wilds, took the stage at 6:10pm. Wearing red kicks, a black staple 75 shirt, and black pants he quickly got to work. Best known for his acting roles as Michael Lee and Dixon Wilson on HBO’s “The Wire” and CW’s “90210,” the R&B singer performed a variety of slower songs including “Wild Things”, “Henny”, MaGic!!!”, and “Own It” off his debut studio album, New York: A Love Story. Shouting out his DJ, DJ Reg West, and his brothers on tour, Wilds calmly left the stage.
Taking centre stage once again, was the host for the evening, DJ Drama. During the interlude, he played more hits including Future’s “Move That Dope”, “Us” by Rick Ross “Yayo” by Snootie Wild, and K Camp’s summer anthem, “Money Baby.”
Taylor Gang member, Ty Dolla $ign stormed the stage in a sensible fashion, while his dreads could be seen swinging from side to side. Smoking a blunt, Ty performed numerous hits including “My Cabana” off his mixtape, Beach House (hosted by DJ Drama) as well as “Wood n leather” as the cover for his Beach House EP was displayed in the background. Grabbing a guitar like a rockstar, he was supported by a live band, consisting of a guitar player, DJ, and keyboardist. At this point, his liveliness was through the roof as he jumped into some even bigger songs, performing “Irie” and another cut from his Beach House EP titled, “Familiar.” Continuing his energetic set, Dolla $ign did his verse from K Camp’s “Money Baby” (Remix) before performing the smash hit “Or Nah.” Speaking to the crowd, he acknowledged that the next song “Changed his life” as the single “Paranoid” rang through the venue, bringing everyone to their feet. As “Taylor Gang” chants echoed back and forth between TY and the crowd, he exited off stage.
As DJ Drama took the stage for another short interlude around 7:00pm, he began playing a variety of hits including “Work” by A$AP Ferg, “Ain’t Worried About Nothin” and ‘Don’t Stop” by French Montana, and “Birthday Song” by 2 Chainz. It’s notable to add that DJ Drama served as a great host throughout the entire evening. Interacting with the crowd in between acts, Drama managed to keep the attention of thousands – not an easy task by any means.
No Toronto for me I guess. So I'm in buffalo NYC till morning
After news spread that Sage the Gemini wasn’t able to gain access into Canada, Heart Break Gang member, Iamsu! took the lead, hitting the stage dressed in a grey hoodie, red fitted hat, and blue jeans. Joined by others, he performed “Don’t Stop”, “100 Grand”, and “Hipster Girls” from the album KILT II. Moving forward, Su performed various tracks such as “Act Right (Remix)”, “I Love My Squad”, “Gas Pedal”, and “Only That Real.” Following a solid performance, IAMSU could be seen giving out a Free HBK t-shirt to a lucky audience member. As the night grew darker, fans continued posing for pictures while stagehands prepared for the next act.
Standing tall, DJ Drama was the main focus during an interlude in which he played Meek Mill’s “I’m A Boss,” saying, “Yes! This feels like a Taylor Gang party, Let’s GO.” After Kanye’s “Good Life,” additional Meek Mill cuts from his mixtape series, Dreamchasers (Hosted by DJ drama) and “Worst Behavior” by Drake dominated the sound system. Before leaving the stage, DJ Drama threw a signature fitted cap into the crowd.
At 7:45pm, backed by DJ Drama, Rich Homie Quan casually came out, performing “Walk Thru” as the Atlanta rapper began playing songs off his mixtape, I Promise I Will Never Stop Going In. It wasn’t long before Rich Homie Quan received immense crowd reaction during his smash hit, “Some Type Of Way” before going into his new single, “Blah Blah Blah.” After hearing “Party,” Quan then performed his verse from Yo Gotti’s “I Know” as well as another cut titled, “Reloaded.” A large display lit the background reading “Rich Homie Quan est. 1989.” Throughout his performance DJ Drama offered supporting vocals while Quan continued his set, performing “Get The Fuck Out My Face,” and “Lifestyle.”
Joining us once again, Drama continued to build suspense as onlookers were treated to a playlist consisting of “Fuck You” by Yo Gotti “Fuckin Problems” by A$AP Rocky, Trey Songz’ “Oh Nana”, Drake’s “The Motto” and DJ Drama’s “Oh My,” which stands as one of his most successful songs to date.
It was now 8:15pm as the letters J E E Z Y could be seen lit up on stage, meaning one thing; Snow Go. Illuminated by blue lighting, the live band consisting of a keyboardist, drummer, and guitar player conducted a gladiator-themed entrance as Young Jeezy’s official tour DJ, DJ Baby Yu said “Make some noise for Jeezy.” Running on stage with an abundance of energy, Tha Snowman wasted no time, performing popular tracks including “Put On” and “Lose My Mind” from the album Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition. Covered in a Gold Cuban link, rocking a hat that read TORONTO on the brim, he said, “Hands up, 103.” Following another classic, “SupaFreak,” Jeezy paused, staring into the crowd, as the rapper soaked up thousands of cheers. Lifting the microphone Jeezy said, “T Dot whats happening? Welcome to the Under the Influence tour. Canada, you ain’t never looked so muthafuckin’ good! whats happenin?” Moving forward, Young Jeezy performed a string of tracks such as “Go Crazy”, “Trap Star” (She Like It)”, “Get Ya Mind Right”, “Trap Or Die”, “Peace Up” (A-Town Down)”, “I Do It For My Hood”, “And Then What”, and “Who Dat.” Asking the audience to put their lighters in the air, he performed the 2005 hit single, “Soul Survivor.” Jeezy proceeded well into the night with “I Luv It” and “Dey Know” (Remix) before being joined by Rich Homie Quan on stage for “My Nigga.” Concluding his set with the bass-heavy “R.I.P.” was rather fitting; given the fact that he killed his performance. Jeezy left the crowd with one message, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they ain’t big enough.” Saluting the crowd in a Military-esque fashion, Young Jeezy disappeared backstage as the instrumental to “Seen It All” carried through the venue.
With one act remaining, the host for the evening, DJ Drama, commanded the attention from everyone in attendance for one last interval. Playing “Ocho Cinco” by French Montana, “Hot Nigga” by Bobby Shmurda and Young Thug’s “I’m A Stoner.” Walking from behind his turntables to center stage, Drama dropped Meek Mill’s legendary “Intro” off his Dreams and Nightmares LP before headliner, Wiz Khalifa hit the stage.
As the Amphitheatre darkened, voices from around the world began saying, “Wiz Khalifa.” With the lights slowly coming back on, Wiz emerged with his back to the crowd as fireworks were displayed on the large screen behind him. Wearing a red lumber jack long sleeve, a white undershirt, jeans, and white/red nikes, Khalifa approached the gold microphone with a joint conveniently tucked between his fingers. Also joined by a live band, he opened his set with “Work Hard, Play Hard” and “Roll Up,” he provided words of wisdom, also noting that his forthcoming album, Blacc Hollywood will be released on August 19th as he shouted out his DJ, DJ Bonics. After proclaiming to the audience that you “Gotta make classics,” he jumped into the Kush & Orange Juice cut, “Mezmorized” before slowing things down with “The Race,” while visuals of cars driving were put on view. Returning to the stage, Wiz was joined by Iamsu! the opening song off Cabin Fever 2, “Bout Me.” It was now 10:00pm as a group of individuals merged on stage with the TGOD captain for a special performance of “Taylor Gang,” while loud firecrackers consecutively went off. Moving into some of his newer material, Trap Wiz performed tracks off his latest mixtape, 28 Grams including “James Bong”, “Like Jimmy,” and “Foreign.” Rolling through his set, confetti poured into the Amphitheatre as Wiz performed “Black and Yellow” while a female wearing a red shirt flashed the crowd – resulting in a wide grin from everyone including Khalifa himself. If the first half of his performance wasn’t exciting enough, things were about to get serious. Surprising EVERYONE, Wiz brought out Drake who absolutely shut down the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. Drizzy performed 2 songs including “Trophies” and “Started From The Bottom” leaving everyone in attendance starstruck.
As the noise level somewhat returned to normal, Wiz leisurely performed “Young, Wild, and Free,” also incorporating recently released tracks such as the Snoop Dogg and Ty Dolla Sign-assisted single, “You And Your Friends” and “KK.” After performing “Incense” Wiz followed the lead of the drums, intimately performing the 9+ minute “No Limit” off his fourth studio album O.N.I.F.C. During the songs interlude, Khalifa disappeared in the darkness, only to emerge, finishing the track in front of those sitting on the lawn. Upon returning to the stage, he strapped himself into a special device, entering a hydraulic platform where he performed “Stayin Out All Night” before coming back down to earth. Finishing off with the summer anthem, “We Dem Boys” Khalifa received a tremendous applause leaving the stage – or so we thought. While some people started to leave, DJ Drama grabbed the microphone once again begging the question “Y’all want an encore?” After an obvious response of yes from the crowd, Wiz re-emerged performing the standout track “Medicated.”
Although it was a Tuesday night, that didn’t stop die hard fans from making their way to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto, Canada. The Under the Influence of Music tour continues to offer a truly unique experience as some of the best artists in the world collectively put their talents on display for thousands to enjoy. Lead by DJ Drama, the diverse lineup comprised of Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, Young Jeezy, Rich Homie Quan, Iamsu!, and Mack Wilds delivered more than a memorable night.
“We under the influence of love, we under the influence of that good old peace, and we under the influence of each other… That’s what’s real important about our movement and our generation; is that we support each other.” – Wiz Khalifa
Special thanks to Live Nation for the media access.
Review by: Michael Lavictoire for The Come Up Show.
Photography by: CZR-E for The Come Up Show.