De La Soul / Buck 65

Phillip's Brewery, Victoria BC, July 20

Photo: Kim Jay

BY Blake MorneauPublished Jul 21, 2013

Nova Scotia's Buck 65 took the stage behind Phillip's Brewery with little fanfare. (There wasn't even an announcement of "This right here is Buck 65.") Battling the crowd's chatter in a Canadian tuxedo, the self-proclaimed "Tits McGee of Rap" quickly won over the people, as much with his ridiculously awesome dance moves as with his gritty, story-teller raps. Between the heat of the sun, his unforgiving denim armour and the force with which he was pushing out his bars, Buck was red in the face, veins throbbing as he pumped out songs like the banjo-flourished "Indestructible Sam" from his DirtyWork EP and "Blood of a Young Wolf" from Secret House Against the World. Both are long, lyrically dense songs that take a certain amount of weirdo-swagger to be able to pull off in the party environment of an outdoor show on a Saturday night and Buck 65 was more than up to the task. His set was a left-field home run, capped off by a reworked, more subdued version of his best-known track "Wicked & Weird," that captured the loneliness and desolation hinted at in the lyrics.

People were ready to party by the time the legendary De La Soul took the stage and the NY hip-hop veterans threw down hard. With a catalogue full of classics that spans over 25 years, the trio had no problem hitting track after track of pure hip-hop gold, getting asses shaking with incredible vigour.

3 Feet High and Rising remains one of hip-hop's towering achievements and while one would assume the guys in De La might be tired of playing those classic songs, they're seasoned veterans who know what the people want. The crowd was treated to powerful renditions of "Potholes in my Lawn" and "Me, Myself and I," songs that still sound better than most of what hip-hop has put out since their inception. It wasn't all 3 Feet High though, as the guys broke out other catalogue staples like "A Roller Skating Jam called 'Saturdays'" (from De La Soul is Dead)," as well as "Stakes Is High" and "The Grind Date."

De La Soul has rocked more crowds than most of us can probably even imagine and it showed on this night. They stalked the stage like field generals, their presence completely commanding. By the time Pos and Dave had the crowd divided down the middle trading screams of "Party over here! Fuck 'em over there!" it was clear that they had won. Divide and conquer. De La Soul conquered.

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