DOOM in concert

DOOM & D-Sisive Highlight the Good and Bad of Hip Hop

Thursday night's DOOM and D-Sisive concert at the Kool Haus was easily the most frustrating concert experience of my life. Given that I attend an average of two or three concerts a week, this is a mighty feat for the villainous underground hip-hop legend. Delays, technical difficulties and an abundance of false promises had the young crowd thinning from the moment DOOM's planned set time came and went.

Rather than focusing on the negative energy surrounding the masked marauder and his ongoing identity crisis, I'd like to bring up just one question to the Torontonians chucking empty beer cans at the unmasked and undeserving DJs and announcers: what the fuck were you expecting?

For years, purchasing a ticket to a DOOM aka Daniel Dumile show has been a gamble. Fans are subjected to rescheduling, cancellations, massive delays, erratic behaviour and doppelgangers - just to name a few factors that would deter a rational listener from handing over $43 to Dumile. His career post-KMD has been one giant publicity stunt, but still the house was packed.

D-Sisive (Derek Christoff) hit the stage shortly after 9 for a solid thirty minute set that featured healthy portions of both Let the Children Die and Jonestown. The crowd dished out plenty of hometown love for D-Sisive, most notably when he dropped the Lennon-inspired 'Nobody With a Notepad.' D vlogged about the experience:

After D-Sisive left the stage, the Mixtape Massacre DJs kept the audience moving as DOOM's 10pm start time approached. Check out the timeline from here on out:

10:15: Announcer comes on stage to announce that DOOM has been cleared through immigration and will be here in 45 minutes, saying that we should be elated that "he's actually here."

10:20: Three guys start break dancing near the south wall and a crowd soon gathers around them for an impromptu session. Rhymes from Guru, Q-Tip, Slick, Andre 3000, Talib and Jay Electronica pumped through the sound system and kept my spirits up.

10:25: First fight - 300lb bouncer vs. a watery-eyed, baby-faced teen.

11:00: The "We want DOOM" chants begin. The barbacks are having a relatively easy night, as all of the empties are conveniently collecting themselves on stage. The predominantly male crowd becomes increasingly restless.

11:06: Announcer returns - you know it's a bad sign when he opens with "don't throw shit at me." We are told that DOOM is here. 15 minutes...

11:35: Announcer reappears - "calm the fuck down, DOOM is here. Give him a minute, you know how he is..."

11:40: Raekwon's OBFCLII blast through the speakers. Is it really a bright idea to inject some Wu into the already aggressive and intoxicated crowd?

12:00: DJ starts to setup - "whoever threw that shoe, I'ma fuck you up right now." I begin to draw comparisons between DOOM and Axl Rose.

12:12: An obviously fake DOOM takes to the stage as a pre-recorded CD plays. Chicago part two?

12:13: The real DOOM takes to the stage. The rhyming commences and DOOM tears it up, joined by his hypeman, a DJ and a fourth man whose face remained hidden behind a mask, aviators and hat throughout the set. Dumile's flow is furious, his rhymes are incomparable, and his mask is blindingly reflective. So many spliffs ablaze that security doesn't even try to control the situation.

12:19: The crowd eats it up, and it seems as though all will be forgiven if DOOM delivers on his promises to "kill the curfew" and "take it to the wee hours." We are barraged with declarations of love and adulation from DOOM, who referred to the crowd as his family.

12:21: I suspect that the guy in the mask and aviators is none other than Mos Def, who bailed on Toronto earlier this week. Others in the crowd are on the same page.

12:40: The technical difficulties begin. This is what performing a sound check will prevent. Resentment begins to build amongst the agitated crowd. Everyone on stage seems to disappear one at a time.

1:00: After bits and pieces of a few verses, DOOM exits and the house lights come on. The remaining crowd are furious, and the identity of the man in the aviators remains a mystery.

At the end of the day, its shit like this that gives hip hop a bad name, but mystery and villainy make for astounding entertainment.

The media kerfuffle surrounding DOOM's Toronto appearance will only have served to reinforce the simple fact that rumours equate to publicity, and that no press is bad press. Dumile has previously stated that "people are asking more now for live shows and I'm charging more, so it must've worked somewhere."

Yeah, in Toronto. I just hope some of that money went to the rapper that deserved it: D-Sisive.

Check out D on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. Head to his label Urbnet for a free download of his latest album Jonestown.

Lead photo of DOOM by Alex Kamino. Article by Matthew McAndrew.

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