At the forefront of the experimental hip-hop scene, the Anti-Pop Consortium of rapper-producers Beans, High Priest and M. Sayyid with engineer Earl Blaize have always done more than the average MC with their live show. Last time they were in Toronto, just a few months before they were to announce their break-up, APC spent almost as much time jamming on their equipment as they did rocking rhymes. With a stack of equipment piled up behind Rich Kidd, the DJ for hipster hip-hop opening act Blake Carrington, it was evident little had changed in the seven years since they split.
Once APC set up their equipment, Blaize began the beat with each member walking out on stage one at a time, with each adding his particular piece of electronic equipment: computers, keyboards, samplers and other smaller effects equipment. After this short jam session, Sayyid introduced the group. Taking on the role of front-man, Sayyid was upbeat throughout, while High Priest played passive, only moving from his computer to the other side of the table and back again. Beans, the hip nerd, understandably took a couple of breaks, but he remained highly involved in the show and extremely animated during his rapid-fire rap explosions, and Blaize just looked happy to be working again.
The four did more rapping this time out, with much of the show spent on new tracks from reunion album Fluorescent Black, such as "C Thru U" and first single "Volcano," but they also hit on classics like "Ghostlawns" and requested encore song "Ping Pong." They also dove into a handful of psychedelic instrumental jams and entered into their encore with a wickedly funny Sayyid freestyle over an impromptu instrumental.
It took just one hour for Anti-Pop Consortium to once again demonstrate exactly how to rock a hip-hop show, but unfortunately, not more than 50 people were privy to this important lesson.