While the Molson Amphitheatre is as gentrified a venue as you'll find in this fair city, it's an amazing amalgam of ages, races and fashions that shows up on Canada Day to take in Wham Bam, a day-long soul, hiphop and rap extravaganza. For everyone from the teeny-hoppers standing on the high-rent seats up close and shaking that ass to the chill headz holding up the walls in between levels, the vibe is uniformly peace and love. Get ripped and get down.
The first thing we see as we descend on our seats is a cop tearing off his hat to wipe the streams of sweat off his bald head - never missing a beat while rocking to the thumping bass behind 50 Cent worth of opining that includes shout-outs to cops and firemen.
Not too far from where Sir Cop-Alot is skanking, a roughneck sparks a tree. His cronies seem a little hesitant, since the heat is so close by. Ruffy just smiles, hauls a lungful and on the exhale declares, "It's just a fine now."
The only sign of discord I witness in the hiphop harmony is when four wiggers - that's right, white niggers - start whining about almost being arrested for being in a fight. It's obvious they were over-served at the booze pit.
Though of the main attractions 50 Cent is rap's reigning thug du jour and Jay-Z's not known as anyone's punk, the fact that someone wound up dead by the concert's end, Toronto's 22nd homicide, is indeed a cruel twist of fate that fuels the idle banter. "What did you expect at a show like that? Don't you understand that those guys attract people who do those sorts of things?" Yeah. And watch out for them coons.
Interesting, or rather, more vexing, is that no one's harping about steering clear of Canada's Wonderland after a shooting there last Mother's Day. But, of course, an entirely different set of optics are at play in that fantasyland scenario that can't be chalked up to a statistical cultural probability.
With Caribana around the corner, this whole discussion is rather untimely. Every year, it seems, the summer air is befouled by the same jabber from peanut galleries in all ethnic quarters.
But here again, I've been forced to temper my rabid opposition to the legions of fear mongers, since shit does happen.
To those who may have been unlucky enough to have seen "something": better start squealing to the hogs, so as to rid all us all of this scourge of humanity still loose on the city streets, while the rest of us cower instead of just living. As one friend more prone to eloquence than profanity put it, "A fuckin' shame."