Live music makes its long-awaited return to the Wardroom.
The bar held its inaugural Black talent showcase featuring a duo of rappers: MAJE and Fiifi Three on Sept. 27. The two performed a dynamic, hour-long collaborative set to a crowd of eager students and guests.
The dim, yet warm glow of dozens of delicately strung twinkle lights dances around the room.
“It couldn’t have gone any better,” says MAJE, grinning and walking over to hug a friend in the crowd after the show.
The creative chemistry between him and Fiifi Three is palpable. They seamlessly cruise through each other’s songs hyping one another up and occasionally adding a new, extra verse to the other’s tune. The seasoned performers bounce between humour and gravitas in their lyrics and stage banter.
Halfway through the chorus of his emotional, nostalgic single, “April Showers,” Fiifi Three pauses. “Genuinely,” he whispers through his microphone, “I fucked up the lyrics.”
He laughs, jumps backwards, restarts the beat and the crowd erupts in applause.
Towards the end of the show a few special guests are added to the show. MAJE’s brother — and Music Nova Scotia’s current Artist in Residence spokesperson — Kxng Wooz was pulled from the audience to perform their collaboration, “Redemption,” the title track from Wooz’s 2020 EP.
Later another friend, Wave Lord, took the stage with MAJE to close out the event.
“It felt really good to get things back going again, and even though it’s still seated capacity, people seem really excited to be back,” said the Wardroom’s general manager, Alec Martin. “I’m a little nervous for when masks finally come off and there’s standing capacity, but we’ll be ready for it when it happens.”
“I remember being a kid and thinking ‘man, [rappers] are the coolest people on the planet and no one can tell me any different,’” says MAJE.
The 29-year-old artist has been performing for over a decade and has become a spokesperson for the local hip hop scene. “We’re in a really good place as far as local artists [are concerned],” he says. He later goes on about hip hop culture in general saying “we literally run the world. Rap runs the world. Pop culture runs the world.”
The secret to MAJE’s lyric writing is simple. “If it’s a good Instagram caption then it’s a good lyric,” says the rapper. “I don’t want this to fall on deaf ears, I want this to be something that’s easy to catch and also something that you’d want to give somebody else.”
“I take it very seriously whenever I have a microphone in my hand,” says MAJE. He plans on releasing a new EP every month starting in November and carrying on through the new year. “This isn’t a hobby. I hate when people consider this a hobby., Tthis is my livelihood. Don’t come in here and not expect me to slaughter you and not be ready for it.”
Will MAJE be back to the Wardroom? “I’ll be back every month… It’s already set in stone,” he says.
MAJE’s favourite songs to perform live: “Ciara” or “Ettg” (Eastside to the grave)
About Fiifi Three:
Originally from P.E.I., Fiifi Three moved to Nova Scotia a year ago and hasn’t looked back since.
“I came, with no job, and just hit the ground running. I got a job in construction as an electrical apprentice,” he says. “My boss said, ‘You’re good. You’ve got work ethic, but this isn’t what you want to do. I can tell…’”
“In the past year, I have devoted every day to music in some way or another.”
Regarding what artists inspire his music, Fiifi Three explained that while hip hop is his main influence — especially Chicago rappers like Kanye West, Mick Jenkins and Joey Purp — he also draws from some more unexpected places. “I definitely bring up Amy Winehouse… and Michael [Jackson],” he begins,. “Oh, actually, my first influences were rock. It was like Simple Plan and Green Day… Linkin Park too.”
Even Jason Mraz was tossed in the conversation.
“The best songs I write are after a rich episode of life,” Three says.
Fiifi Three’s favourite song to perform live: “TOP DOWN”
The Wardroom Setlist*
No Worries (remix)
Lemon Pepper Freestyle
Piece of Cake
Ode to Van Gogh
Rest in Peace
Redemption ft. Kxng Wooz
Viral ft. Wavelord