I was recently at a party when Snoop Dogg’s “Ain’t No Fun” started playing. I, almost involuntary, began singing along to every word, surprising myself with lyrics like “Guess who’s back in the motherfuckin’ house/With a fat dick for your motherfuckin’ mouth…” Yikes! Where the hell did that come from? I had to explain to my stunned audience that I spent much of the 90s committing the lyrics of “Doggystyle”, “36 Chambers” and “Ready to Die,” to memory. Some might say I had an ill-spent youth – until Hip Hop Karaoke came along and put my skills to good use, that is!
Following successful stints in Toronto and Vancouver, Hip Hop Karaoke has landed in Montreal. After three jam-packed events earlier this year, Round 4 of HHKMTL is going down on Saturday, August 13, with Round 5 on deck for Saturday, September 17 (both at Le Belmont, 4483 St. Laurent).
This isn’t your typical bouncy ball karaoke: HHKMTL features high production values, a large stage, a serious sound and light system, and an extensive online database of song lyrics and instrumentals.
Here’s how it works: select one of hundreds of songs from the online catalogue (you can make a special request if your song isn’t listed), and pre-register your song at firstname.lastname@example.org. The night of the show, performers take the stage and rock the microphone alongside national champion DJ Cosmo and celebrated local hip hop figure and host for the night Dshade from Shades of Culture. There’s no judging or voting: this event is all about getting the crowd hyped. Many performers come sporting costumes, plan dance routines, and give off non-stop energy to keep the crowd entertained. At the most recent event in July, comedians Hannibal Buress and Maz Jobrani made surprise appearances and performed onstage. Check out past performances on HHKMTL’s youtube channel.
My only gripe? While HHKMTL has implemented a “no n-bomb” rule, there is no equivalent rule barring misogynist language. If one is going censor, why not censor consistently? My challenge to women who hit the stage: get creative with your lyrics! Who says “Ladies Ain’t Shit?” and “I’ve Got Sex Workers in Different Area Codes” can’t be as catchy as the originals?
HIP HOP KARAOKE MONTREAL
Saturday August 13 @ Le Belmont, 4483 St Laurent
Doors 10pm $8 after 11pm
Hosted by DSHADE
Beats by COSMO
Prizes Courtesy of L-R-G + Urban Ears