#festivalseason - The Phillips Backyard Weekender brings the goods once again in year 5.

In a very short time, the Phillips Backyard Weekender has grown into a calendar-mark-worthy event in the Victoria summer. Over three days, the Weekender – hosted in the back lot of Phillips Brewery, the brightest jewel in world of Victoria beer – annually brings a lineup that stretches across a staggeringly vast array of genres and moods, bringing a little something for everyone, no matter where your tastes fall in the musical spectrum. This year was no different – with a newly added second stage (Dubbed the “Picnic-er”) packed with local talent, and a main stage that rarely experienced downtime, the Weekender was yet another feast for those with big musical appetites. There was a ton of tunes to take in and process, but here are the acts that made each pop and crack for this lover of groove.

Friday – Oddisee

I've been obsessed with The Iceberg, since its release in February of this year. It's one of the most thoughtful, precise and powerful records of any genre, not just hip-hop, that's come across my ears in some time. A new Oddisee album is always a welcome gift to the world, but the good homie really kicked it up a notch with The Iceberg and I to say I was excited to see these songs live would have been an understatement. Oddisee came to Victoria ready to go. The sound was fantastic, all of Oddisee's intensely thoughtful and precise raps were crystal clear – overcoming an all-too-common problem with live hip-hop shows. Audience interaction is and always should be a huge part of rap and Oddisee kept everyone engaged with the show having the crowd sing along with varied, and properly spaced out, singalongs, including Iceberg standout “Like Really.” (I've been singing “notlikereally” in a loop to myself for a week now.) With all that interaction there was very little asking us to throw our hands in the air. In fact, he only asked us to do it once, which is the correct number of times to instruct the crowd to throw their hands up.

“Hold It Back” and “Want To Be Free” pulsed and roared on that crisp soundsystem, Oddisee's nimble raps dancing around and through the beats. The rapid-fire rhymes of “Killing Time” from 2013's Tangible Dream were a welcome surprise, but the incredible sets highlight might have been a trap remix of “Want Something Done.” The track was a perfect display of Oddisee's immense talent as an MC, reworking lyrics originally set to a more classicist hip-hop beat and shifting them to perfectly fit a hyper-modern beat. Oddisee would be achieve Lord status in any era of hip-hop. We're incredibly lucky to have him working so prolifically right now, in our time. I talked with a number of people who were at the festival who pointed to the good homie as their “festival discovery” and the world is probably a little bit better of a place for it. A huge thank you to the folks behind the Weekender for bringing Oddisee to Victoria and giving him a proper introduction to the city I call home.

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5 Questions with Rags #22 - The Funkee Wadd

The Funkee Wadd is e’rywhere on the West Coast now. Between his own funks and the funky live hip-hop he’s helping lay down with his homeys in Illvis Freshly, the Funkee Wadd has all the momentum a human could have out here on Vancouver Island and the surrounding areas. After watching his ass-rattling set and catching a brief chat with him at Tall Tree earlier this summer, I knew I was going to have to get him down with the 5 Questions. Luckily for me, and all of you wonderful people, he was more than happy to get on the phone and talk all kinds of shit with me.


1. Do you remember the first album you went out and purchased on your own?

It was a CD, the first album I ever purchased, and it was Beastie Boys’ Hello Nasty. It’s kind of funny how it’s come around full circle, being in a rock group.

Favourite song on the record?

“3 MCs and 1 DJ”

What a good song. That video was way good.

Yeah man. Mix Master Mike just cuttin’ it up. Great.

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