Saturday , September 12th marked the 4th day of 12th Annual House of PainT festival of Urban Arts and Culture. They presented a full day of activities encompassing the main elements of hip hop: Graffiti, Emcee, DJing, B-boy/B-girl and knowledge.
From the moment you entered the grounds you felt a sense of community and the love for the culture. As young and old enthusiast bared the rainy weather and filled the area below Dunbar bridge. HoP created few workshops in order to introduce children to the hip hop culture. Workshops included Poetry and dance(by Luv2Groove) as well as the H2O mural workshop.
Graffiti artist scaled the walls early in the day working countless hours allowing all to see the process, skill and creativity required to create these works of art. By the end of the night the grounds were surrounded by colorful masterpieces and slight scent of freshly sprayed paint.
The day also consisted of Ottawa’s biggest and highly awaited dance battles. This portion of the day began with exhibition performances by the judges; Pop-master Fabel (Rock Steady Crew) for the popping battle, and Ms Marie (bboyizm), Boob Jester (Dangerous Goods) and Piecez (Unity, MEC( for the Breaking crew battles. As determined on Friday, top 4 poppers Jason Lord, Jicky, Billo and Shadow took to the floor all chasing that 300$ prize. At the end Montreal’s Shadow was the one who came out victorious as he wowed the crowd and the judge with his musicality and strong hitting pops. The crew vs. crew battle, saw four strong crews duke it out and clearly made it difficult for the judges to make their decisions. The crowds were mesmerized with the skill and strength these dancers have, yet make their moves look so smooth and effortless. The top 4 crews were set as Deadly Venom Crew, Breadcrumbs, FAM and GWS. FAM and Deadly Venom Crew moved on to face each other in the finals with FAM being named Champion for a second year in a row. Although great entertainment value for all in attendance and usually the highlight of this festival, I believe the battles were too spaced out leaving spectators to sit and wait a couple hours at a time to see the event roll through and breaking the momentum of participating crews/dancers.
Today’s Pass The Mic event was hosted the by talented Benzo (Bag of Trix), who was able to entertain the crowd through intermissions and as he introduced a whole days worth of musical talent from all across Canada that graced the HoP stage. The line up included, Socalled & Narcicyst, Kalmunity battle suite/ Kalmunity collective, Emotionz w/DJ Praiz & Sirreal, Dee Ghabrial, Flight Distance, Kool krys, Blakdenim and the much anticipated Jazz Cartier among others.
Ottawa’s performers took the stage fiercely, clearly declaring that Ottawa is in the forefront and making waves in the music industry. One of my highlight of the night was Blakdenim performance. Bringing life to the stage with their unique sound of live instrumentals and that funky and fun sound. They also brought onto the stage a few local artist; Aspects, HyfTheGypsySun, Patrick Mccormack (HoP manager) making this a performance a show of unity and collaboration which really hit home with the crowd.
As the night was coming to an end, the Dunbar bridge was a bit dark and wet, but those that stuck around and filled that platform, were in for the performance of the entire festival. I had heard of Jazz Cartier’s energetic sets, but it did not prepare me for how explosive this artist truly is. From his hard hitting lyrics, to him throwing chairs and mic stands across the stage, his crowd surfing during songs to finally, what can only be described as an full out ambush of the stage by fans as he gave the green light for all to join him on stage for his final song. You can tell Jazz is loving what he’s doing, he’s passionate about it but more than that he wants his fans to have the concert experience of their lives. A true artist!!
Overall, this day was a great day in Ottawa for urban arts. We are headed in the right direction.
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Written by: @Spick_Chick81
Photos by: @Spick_Chick81
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