By Timothy Falco
Tory Lanez and Pressa were some of the up-and-coming Toronto artists that performed at Rebel nightclub on Saturday for Loud Festival, a concert organized by the Ryerson Students’ Union.
Lanez, a Brampton native rapper, headlined the show along with a surprise guest appearance from the North York rapper Pressa. The show also featured opening performances from Toronto rappers Jordan Solomon, Ramriddlz, and Rajan.
Jordan Solomon was the first artist to take the stage on Saturday, performing several songs, including his hit “Oh Me Oh My,” which recently surpassed one million streams on Spotify.
Solomon has been making waves through his career with a string of popular singles during 2017 and the release of his first project last May titled, Karma Club.
Mississauga rapper Ramriddlz followed Solomon, bursting onto the stage with fevered excitement, wearing sunglasses and an oversized Gucci shirt that nearly went down to his feet.
Ramriddlz has had an interesting career path, gaining most of his recognition from his song “Sweeterman,” which went viral due its hilarious and meme-worthy lyrics.
Though the song was originally seen as a joke, Ramriddlz’s popularity skyrocketed after Drake remixed it on OVO Sound Radio.
Ramriddlz has taken advantage of this kick start to his career and has now released a number of projects and collaborated with the likes of Playboi Carti and Scarborough native Killy.
Closing the trio of openers was Brampton musician Rajan, who rose to fame through his viral anthem dedicated to the Toronto Raptors ahead of their 2016 playoff run.
“Northside Since 95” threw Rajan into the spotlight, and he followed it up over the next two years with a number of singles including “Maybe” in 2018, which featured Tory Lanez.
The streaming service SoundCloud provided each of these rappers with a platform to publish their work independently, and all three have a song with over one million plays.
It also allowed them to collaborate and capture the attention of more well known local artists who could promote their work.
The connection and strong community of Toronto’s hip hop scene was necessary for the success of these young artists, and Loud Festival felt like a celebration of their rising stardom.
You could feel energy in the air as the fiery crowd moshed and shouted lyrics tirelessly for the entire night.
The festivities came to a peak with the main act, Tory Lanez, who is riding the success of his recent album LoVE me NOw.
With features from Rich the Kid, Bryson Tiller, Meek Mill and many more, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart in November.
Born in Brampton, Ont., Lanez’ family moved around for a period of time before finally landing in Florida.
In 2009, Lanez released his debut mixtape T.L 2 T.O, an acronym for “Tory Lanez to Toronto.”
This mixtape as well as a series of music videos gained the attention of Sean Kingston, who eventually signed him in 2011.
Despite living in Florida during the early stages of his career, Tory Lanez has maintained his connection to Toronto even after his musical success, as he is a frequent collaborator with local artists.
In 2017, he was featured on Pressa’s song “Canada Goose,” which became Pressa’s most popular release to date.
At Loud Festival, Pressa came onstage to perform their hit, as well as his song “Novacane,” which was produced by fellow Canadian and platinum producer Murda Beatz.
Born and raised in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood, Pressa was often surrounded by violence growing up and his legal battles have followed him through the start of his career.
Despite his run-ins with the law, collaborations with Tory Lanez, Murda Beatz, as well as a cosign from Drake have cemented Pressa’s place far beyond the Toronto scene.
Tory Lanez closed out the night by crowd surfing for almost 15 minutes before finally returning to the stage to bid his fans farewell.
Loud Festival showcased some of Toronto’s greatest hip hop talents and brought together a community of artists who have all found their own unique sound within a city bursting with talent.