Seeing music live is a great way to really feel the music, especially when you position yourself directly between the cymbals. Be at the center of it all with this GrouponLive deal to see AZ Live: The Doe or Die 2 Tour at The Great Hall. For $15, you get general admission on Friday, December 7, at 9 p.m. (up to a $27.49 value, including all fees). Doors open at 8 p.m.
Having collaborated with hip-hop superstar Nas and his fellow members of The Firm, rapper AZ has also compiled an impressive catalog of solo work. Born Anthony Cruz, the Grammy-nominated AZ found his footing on Nas’s 1994 album, Illmatic before releasing his debut album, Doe or Die. The album launched the mega hit “Sugar Hill,” whose honey-sweet, instantly recognizable hook by Miss Jones bleeds into a dream of hustling hard enough not only to achieve the requisite tropical villa staffed with solid-gold butlers but also to realize a vision of “my killa crew, more hospitable, consciously aware plus political.” Seven albums followed, with the forthcoming Doe or Die II set to feature Pete Rock and Baby Paul alongside AZ’s own tough-but-high-minded lyrics. About.com’s Henry Adaso gave him pride of place on his list of Top 50 MCs of Our Time, dubbing him “arguably the most underrated lyricist ever.” This stop of the tour also will showcase Toronto rapper Tona and veteran mixmaster DJ Big Jacks.
Warning: Contains drug references and a brief but shocking scene of cheating at cards.
The Great Hall
Now a destination for live entertainment, The Great Hall was built as Toronto’s West End YMCA in 1889, complete with a running track and, in the basement, a swimming pool. After that got full up with alligators, the four-storey, turreted brick building became home to the Royal Templars of Temperance and The Polish Voice newspaper before being taken over by the avant-garde programming of the Toronto School of Art. The dance-ready polished wooden floors, hanging lamps, and even the radiators still evoke the venue’s Victorian history as local and international acts take the stage today.