Raz Fresco Drake Hotel, Toronto ON, June 18

Raz Fresco Drake Hotel, Toronto ON, June 18
Photo: Kevin Jones
Another notable star in Toronto's vibrant hip-hop scene post OVO-XO explosion, Raz Fresco gave those in attendance a good look at what he's been hard at work on since 2014's The Screwface Tape. The young emcee pulled no punches in delivering a brief, powerful set revolving around the impending July 1 release of his debut album, Pablo Frescobar, with a hunger and excitement in his performance that was noticeable from the moment the first beat dropped.
Whether it was the record's knocking first single, "Warning Shots/Murda," or a verse from the self-produced, Raekwon-featuring "Influenza," his energy was boundless despite a lack of consistent reciprocation from a tired NXNE crowd. Encouraged by his DJ/hype man Big Soze to keep on delivering some of the hottest bars from the record, Fresco brought the room to a hush each time before tearing through them acapella, only stopping short the odd time if his furious flows got the best of him.
Still, his growth as an emcee was noticeable, making the anticipation for the new material that much stronger.