Thursday September 10th marked the 2nd day of the House of Paint Festival of Urban Arts & Culture which quickly rolled into high gear.
Co-hosts John Andrew Akpata and Jamaal Jackson Rogers spearheaded the OG 500, a highly anticipated poetry slam competition featuring 12 of the most talented poets all chasing a 500$ cash prize and opportunity to hold this years title as OG500 Champion.
This competition is unique not only for its content but also due to the full audience engagement, allowing each spectator to weigh in on who is deserving of moving forward to the second round and third round by use of voting cards. After two spectacular rounds Apollo the Child, Andre Prefontaine and Amy llisa were declared as the top three poets. The third round saw the judges stomped leaving them in a three-way tie two times in a row before finally awarding Andre as the reigning champion.
As if witnessing these artist was not enough of an incentive, HoP2015 treated us to a special opening performance by Moe Clark, a multidisciplinary Métis artist, whose artistic career
spans well over a decade and is highly regarded within the spoken word community. Her beautiful voice, the messages within her songs and stage presence set presedence on that stage. Moe Clark was also one of three featured guest judges for the OG 500. Sitting next to Moun Fou (local Hiphop and Reggae artist) and Rob Reid.
The night resumed with performances by headliner and breakthrough hiphop artist City Fidelia and up and coming Canadian rapper and record producer Raz Fresco. Raz Fresco opened up the second part of the night with an energetic set that transcended onto the crowd ensuring the momentum remained hyped. City Fidelia performance engaged everyone on the floor and set fire to the stage in particular when performing his major hit and my favorite “4am” from his latest Album Pisces. His set is one that left Ottawa proud to call him one of their own.
The night continued with Beat Battle #3 (Ottawa League Battle) showcasing 6 energetic beat makers all competing for 150$ cash prize and major bragging rights as the cities best. The crowd danced the night away as each one demonstrated their skills and individuality. DJ Circa beatz showcased his talents and demonstrated why he is one of Ottawa’s favorite as the judges zero’d in on their decision to present Sean Blake as this years Beat Battle Champion.
Overall, the night was filled with great performers, amazing music, and a step forward in the presence of the hiphop culture within Ottawa. If this is the tone and energy brought forth by House of PainT this year, trust me you do not want to miss the rest of it!!
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Written & Photos by @Spick_Chick81
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