Jazz Cartier Café Cleopatra, Montreal QC, November 19
Published Nov 20, 2015T.O. rapper Jazz Cartier kicked off his set with "Too Many Tales," in which he raps that "I don't need nobody else." It was apt; Cartier oozed confidence, starting chill as though he had nothing to prove, then leaning into the slightly harder "The Valley."
Cartier already has a grasp on set construction — "Let's turn it up just a little bit," he'd say between songs — and a live presence that, frankly, stood out among the other performers. He's a professional, from his DJ — who actually scratches — to his recognition that you don't need to yell to be heard on the mic. The result was a dynamic set that found Cartier playing "new shit" as well as old.
His first new song got the crowd in front of the stage jumping up and down, shaking the floor as they threw their hands up his way. Between songs, he waxed ambitious about wanting to rep Canada as well as he does Toronto, then played another new track as he implored the crowd to "bounce," referencing Future's "Fuck Up Some Commas" along the way.
He tested the crowd's ability to correctly shout "holy shit!" and "woo!" on rhythmic cue, winning them over by making them a part of the proceedings. By the song's end, Cartier had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and he kept their attention through "Switch," a highlight, and up until the end, making almost every song crowd-interactive; "You guys are turnt," he admitted, smiling.
He closed with "Dead or Alive" and "New Religion," perfect ways to cap off a set that saw him win over the venue with the expertise of a pro. Don't call Jazz Cartier an up-and-comer again.