Concert Reviews

Juicy J at Yonge-Dundas Square

The final day at NXNE with the final headlining act was June 22nd, 2014. After a week and a half of comedy, movies, exhibits and, most notably, music, we were about to see the act that would close these parties gracefully. No more celebrations until four in the morning. No more MiO water mixer giveaways. No more Samsung Galaxies on billboards. No more pictures being broadcast all over the screens outside of the Eaton Center. Who was picked to close these shows? Juicy J: Member of rap group Three 6 Mafia. The crowd was bigger here than at any other show at NXNE, and were popping like champagne bottles full of excitement. Juicy J finally comes out, and with an array of lights behind him and a pile of confidence within him, he began the ending of NXNE.

With all of the self esteem he possesses, he talked in between virtually every song. Many of these songs felt less than a minute long and were passages of his from Three 6 Mafia (including the literary classic Slob On My Knob). He would check in with the audience all of the time, reassuring us that Toronto women are “hot” and making sure that we smoke marijuana and “get high to this track”. He kept these specific tabs on us for almost every single song. Apart from that, he’d tell an audience member they look as though they’re ten years old and shouldn’t be drinking, or he’d be blushing that he was flashed by a female guest. There was one moment of sincerity, and that was when Juicy J, real name Jordan Houston, told everyone that he had been working on his craft for twenty years. He didn’t just appear out of nowhere. That hard work is remarkable, of course, but you often forget what hard work gets put into a career when every ten minutes we are reminded that one loves “that Toronto kush”.

Looking back at other eccentric performers at NXNE (Danny Brown and Mac Demarco come to mind), you could find true dedication to their work within their set as they still want to impress people who do not know about them. With Juicy J, you’re missing out entirely if you are not a fan. One might say that people shouldn’t go to shows of performers they are not fond of, but at a free event in the heart of a popular city, one should at least try to not alienate. The music itself was self explanatory: The good natured lyricism any Three 6 Mafia member can dish out. As a performer, Juicy J is admittedly charismatic so even if you couldn’t care less about the music, at least you have someone who feels unstoppable on stage. If you are a fan of his music, you’d be like the vast majority of people there having a good time. If not, you may feel like a kid not allowed into a secret club, and it may not be a club you’re truly invested in joining (aside from the kind audience members who helped me out however they can as I tried to take photographs of the event. Thank you, dearly!).

About author

Former Film Editor & Music Writer at Live in Limbo. Co-host of the Capsule Podcast. A Greek/South African film enthusiast. He has recently earned a BFA honours degree in Cinema Studies at York University. He is also heavily into music, as he can play a number of instruments and was even in a few bands. He writes about both films and music constantly. You should follow him on Twitter @Andreasbabs.