If my week wasn’t lit before Caribana, it turned on fire by the time the weekend hit.
There is something about having that much energy in one location that just always heightens things. I’m pretty sensitive to energy so I feel it and any time you have that much celebration, that much celebrity power in one location…shit just goes down. I even went out.
Anything can happen at any time. People fuck with you one second, and cut you in the next. If they don’t know who you are or what you represent or what you can do for them…they damn near lose their minds.
I heard rumblings about Caribana Weekend and OVO Fest (August 5-7) ever since I moved to the 6 a few months back, and let me tell you, it lived up to the hype. There was too much to choose from going on in the city.
I operate by instinct, so I hit the events that felt right. That Saturday night was Muzik, Sunday I was just out and about in the city, walking all the way from the OVO Flagship Store to Dundas Square and beyond and on Sunday night I checked out the Elite Boat Cruise. After the weekend was over I sat down and talked all about Caribana’s origins with an older Trinidadian couple who are very active in the community.
Not only was the city ready to party, but people were ready to get real.
Saturday night I hit up Muzik, a chic nightlife hub that has a rep for knowing how to get a party started. After sipping some Henny and feeling the positive vibes of the night, I submerged myself into the scene. Since I moved here I’ve been told numerous times to check out Muzik and I finally did Saturday night of Caribana weekend. As soon as I walked in I forgot that I was in Canada and instantly felt like I was transported to South Beach. The only reminder that I was still in Canada was the view of the CN tower from the venue. The cabanas, security in sleek suits and sultry lighting contributed to a peak nightlife experience. All who were in attendance were dressed to the nines, ready to have a good time and feeling the vibes produced by the DJ. The vibes were so on point that I couldn’t even let a little drama get in the way of my night even if I tried.
Aktual and Neil K were present, enjoying the ambience and hitting the club as you do when you are two young artists on the rise. Aktual has worked with the likes of Future, Rich Homie Quan, Outlawz, Jeremih etc. and has hooked up with Neil K on numerous tracks including “What It’s All About:”
As well as a single titled “My Dream:”
I woke up on Sunday morning just wanting to feel the vibe of the city. I started on Dundas near the OVO Flagship store, where the wait was a good 2 hours long, and walked all the way through Dundas Square and onward. People were rocking OVO gear all over the 6ix and everywhere I turned someone was holding an OVO bag. The city was hype.
Sunday night I hit up the Elite Boat Cruise and got to really let loose and feel the vibe of what Caribana was all about. With a breathtaking view of the Toronto skyline in the background, the boat traversed the water with the music pumping and the guests feeling the vibes. I chatted up some dope Torontonians, danced to everything from Drake & Riri to classic reggae, and nursed some Disaronno in VIP with Hollywood classic man D-Teflon, who was one of the organizers of the event.
The Elite Boat Cruise is a staple event for Toronto’s Caribana nightlife scene, 10-years running, the event is organized by Alliance Entertainment Group and Suited Lifestyle Celebrity Events Group. When the boat finally docked sometime after 2 a.m. I wasn’t ready to leave (even if my feet were) but went home, collected another 5 hours or so of shut-eye and got back to my weekly grind come Monday morning.
A lot of stars came through the 6ix to either perform or take part in the festivities including but not limited to: Rihanna, Kanye West, Future, Floyd Mayweather, LeBron James & none other than the man behind OVO Fest himself, Drizzy Drake.
While out and about in the city, I met an amazing Trinidadian couple who are very active in the community. We spoke all about Caribana’s origins, how it started off as Carnival in the Caribbean and was originally a celebration of freedom from slavery. They feel as though the festival has been over-commercialized in recent years, but still revel in the festivities every year.
Being a highly Black cultural event, it would be almost irresponsible of me not to mention the racism I came across surrounding the weekend. Many claimed I should be concerned about getting “shot up” going to these events since according to them that’s what happens at Black celebrations. I heard a lot of casual whisperings of the supposed violence I was going to witness as a participant of Caribana, but to be honest all I saw were people who were ready to indulge in a good time from all backgrounds, and since I had the same mindset, the weekend was definitely one to remember.
I’m walking away from Caribana weekend with a smile on my face, and good memories to reflect on. The weekend helped me escape reality, if even for just a moment in time, and I was grateful.
Shoutout to Toronto’s Naked BodyZ Fashion Inc for getting my fashion game on point for the weekend. Peep my Instagram @TrustLove11 to see my looks from the weekend.
For more street style in Toronto during the weekend, scroll through our gallery below.
PHOTO CREDIT: Arielle London