Rich Kidd / Raz Fresco Wrongbar, Toronto ON, April 25

Rich Kidd / Raz Fresco Wrongbar, Toronto ON, April 25
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On this night, Rich Kidd was on fire, even if the crowd wasn't at times. The Toronto-based producer/MC has been quite prolific lately, be it mixtapes, feature collaborations or production for other artists.

"Y'all came out for me? Thank you," Rich Kidd remarked at the start of the set. He came out holding up the Canadian flag — if you believe the cannabis leaf has officially replaced the maple leaf. (Fitting, as he was rarely without a blunt in his hand all night.) Heads came together on this night to help celebrate his latest, the 19-track In My Opinion mixtape. The free-to-download project is clearly a passion project and it showed in his intense, freewheeling performance.

But tonight, despite the supercharged energy and head-nodding crowd, something felt off, and it wasn't the weed smoke. Screwfaces were in reduced supply for sure, but the crowd was simply hype, in small caps. The people clearly came out to support but didn't give Kidd the type of symbiotic energy he wanted. Running through joints from the mixtape, he kicked things off with the throwback-sounding title track. The crowd levels spiked for solid cuts like "Cool As I've Ever Been" (in which an animated Kidd jumped into the crowd getting buck), "Can I Get A [Bom Bom]" (in which Kidd managed to get a respectable call and response going) and the radio-friendly SonReal collabo "Hometown" (in which Kidd got the hands waving). As someone who produces his own beats and writes his own material, let it be said that Kidd manages both with a high degree of proficiency.

Earlier, buzz-worthy Raz Fresco primed the crowd with cuts from the young producer and MC's The Popcorn Tape mixtape. And halfway through Kidd's set, an impromptu appearance from the Airplane Boys —performing "Beau Monde (Ridin' With My Crew) — served to show that Rich Kidd knows that Canadian hip-hop is undergoing an resurgence and united vibe. And on this night, restrained crowd notwithstanding, Kidd proved that however far the current scene goes in 2013 and beyond, he'll probably be in the driver's seat.