Rich Kidd Wrongbar, Toronto ON, June 15

Rich Kidd Wrongbar, Toronto ON, June 15
Photo: Kevin Jones
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Faced with a pushed-back time slot due to earlier tardiness, local rap luminary Rich Kidd wasted little time in lighting off a fiery set that had already completely enveloped the room by the end of his first song. With a presence and glare that forces listeners to take notice and pay attention, the confident MC stalked the already tight stage made even smaller by the surrounding throng, spitting his verses slowly and clearly so that every bit of devilish wordplay could be heard, often checking in with repeated bars to ensure nothing was missed. Audience participation was demanded of all (though calls to throw middle fingers up didn't take much coaxing), and fans rapped along enthusiastically to cuts like "Don't Sleep On Me" and recent single "Psyche," while the introduction of fellow Closers cohort Son Real for the song "Hometown" raised the energy even further. Rich Kidd returned the night's love with one final showing of gratitude by stepping off the stage for a group picture with "Toronto's sexiest crowd," before wrapping up an undeniably blazing set with the skittery "Cool As I Ever Been" and proving one more time just why he's at the top of Toronto's rap heap.