POP Montreal Day 1| Opening Party w/ Planet Giza, Jesse Futerman, Emma Beko

by Stephan Boissonneault

photo by Ming

On the evening of September 27, members of the media, international delegates, promoters, and a few of the other festival public were invited to L’Entrepôt77 for the official opening party of POP Montreal. Under a ridiculously warm fall night, the drinks were flowing and the conversation grew to a roar as rapper Emma Beko unleashed some rhymes straight from the heart. It’s unfortunate that L’Entrepôt wasn’t as filled for Emma Beko’s set, because she deserved a bigger crowd, but hey, that’s being an opener.

More guests arrived in time for DJ Jesse Futerman’s combination of future house and funky downtempo. Futerman has played Piknic Électronik and a Boiler Room set before and knew how to get the crowd to respond, but his set did turn into more of a background music set. Still, he seemed to be having a ball, so that’s all that matters.

The real event of the night came in the form of Planet Giza, a three-piece hip-hop dragon featuring rapper Tony Stone and producers, Rami B and DoomX. The crowd rushed to the tiny L’Entrepôt77 stage as the trio laid it down with tracks from their latest release, Ready When You Are. Live, this album has way more energy than the relatively laid-back funk-jazz rap album you hear online or over headphones. Stone has a huge presence, running around the stage and motioning to his producers for the drips of intensity. The live rendition of the track “SHIP N LUV” also brought to mind the same kind of vibe as somebody like Kendrick Lamar while “FATAL ATTRACTION,” felt more like a modern Motown version of The Temptations. This dichotomy made Planet Giza a very interesting watch. As a true Montreal group with a melting pot of influences, I can see this group becoming a household name in the rap/RnB game in the coming years.

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