Though colder nights and shorter days have touched down upon Toronto, the melodic rap and sheer charisma of Illinois native Kweku Collins kept things cooking at Radio (formerly Adelaide Hall).
Sporting a mane of dreadlocks, the multi-talented artist glided on stage with a semi-obscured grin, allowing the buoyant sounds of his three-piece band to announce his entrance.
At 23, Collins is a living embodiment of do-it-yourself hip-hop. Writing, producing and recording his own material since high school, his 2016 debut album Nat Love and its follow-up Grey EP were lauded by music publications and fans alike.
Mixing soul, trap beats, and flourishes of island rhythm, his thoughtful and introspective rhymes matched the laidback production fittingly.
For just over 60 minutes, Kweku launched into some of his most revered songs including Lonely Lullabies, Never Say Die, Delilah and an unmistakable cover of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Maps.
Like many young rappers from Chicago, he has his own idiosyncratic style, owing thanks to vets like Common. However, he has also forged his own defined path.
Working the small but mighty crowd into a proper frenzy by the night’s end, every single soul that gathered around the stage was captivated for start to finish. Compared to other Chi-Town contemporaries, he’s certainly not Vic Mensa or Chance the Rapper. No, he’s entirely Kweku.