Published Jul 17, 2015Nearly five months removed from opening Theophilus London's most recent show in Toronto, Father had the line of concertgoers for his headlining tour stop in the city stretching down the block of Queen Street long before Tattoo even opened its doors. One of the more intriguing products of the surging Atlanta hip-hop talent pool, fans were undoubtedly excited to get a look at the Awful Records founder and a few of the crew's less familiar faces in a live setting for the first time.
However, not everything was as advertised on the event flyers. Upon walking into the venue, signage had been posted announcing the absence of Awful crewmate Playboy Carti, and as the show wore on, Slug Christ was nowhere to be found, either.
Eliminating the uncertainty of what would happen without the missing members was Toronto's own CMDWN collective, rising stars in their own right despite having only a handful of released tracks to their name. The crowd knew just about every lyric of member Ca$tro Guapo's new Tre Mission-produced "What's Her Name?," chanting back the tune's incredibly suggestive hook with glee. They showed the same admiration for Fiji and his single "Wrist" before the stage filled with fans for a raucous rendition of Guapo's "We are Not." With their performance putting to rest the idea of Drake co-signs being essential to Toronto hip-hop, one would be wise to follow their moves.
After an incredibly short set from KeithCharles Spacebar who kept the crowd warmed up with a few hard-hitting tracks of his own, Father arrived on stage not long before midnight as the bass-heavy beat of "Look at Wrist" rang out around the packed venue. With the crowd whipping their wrists along to the inescapable hook, the Awful Records head was more than impressed by the energy on display, sporting an ear-to-ear grin while launching into the grimy title track from Who's Gonna Get F***** First.
Forced to lose the monotonous delivery that runs throughout his studio recordings, Father's higher register raps and vocal inflection brought new life to a number of tracks from the aforementioned Who's Gonna Get… and Young Hot Ebony. Tour namesake "Why Can't I Cry $$$" had its downcast, drugged-out mood turned into something of a rallying cry, while the bounce of "Back in the 'A' Freestyle/On Me" felt much less like a bedroom production over a loud PA system.
Asking the crowd what they wanted to hear next prompted a number of stoppages in the set, between Father checking how much time he had left on stage and more people rushing the wings to get a little closer. These fan requests yielded both deeper cuts and newer fare, with the crowd happy to get wild to "Please Stop Making Fake Versace" after slowing things down with "Highway 101" and "Cheap Thrills."
Ever humble in thanking the crowd for making it out, the two Awful members led the raucous crowd through "Everybody in the Club Getting' Shot" before once again cuing up "Look at Wrist," at which point the crowd rushed the stage to show off their wrist-whipping skills one last time.