March 17, 2011
It seems fitting that KRS-One decided to perform on St. Patrick's Day. As one of hip-hop's true-to-life founding fathers, deviating from the cookie cutter and weeding out the OGs from the bustas is just his forte, so it makes sense KRS picked this particular night to rope a crowd that he knew was going to be strictly hip-hop over shamrock.
That's not to say you can't celebrate St. Party's Day and be a hip-hop fan at the same time, but if you were to ask Teacha (as he's known to many) what time it is, he'd say leave the green beer and party-boy jams to the House of Pain and bring your ass to Detroit Bar for the realness--'cuz that's what's up.
And while you'd never expect KRS-One to go all Lady Gaga on us and want to perform at some high-maintenance Honda Center bullshizz, it still seemed a little (dare I say it?) below his station to go with such a small joint as the Detroit for this show. But the man is nothing if not unrestricted for all to enjoy, and he brought it hard at the spot last night, especially when he ordered us all to hit the foot of the stage after being held back for hours by those lovely folks in the "Event Staff" shirts. ("What are you doing back there? Come here; come closer!")
The boss MC hit the stage a little after midnight (and about half a dozen opening acts that left little to no impression), and as to be expected, all the classics were in tow. Teacha came to correct with hits such as "My Philosophy," "Sound of the Police" and "Listen to My 9mm." All of which he spit between gritty interludes about the state of the world today, which included but was not limited to several shout-outs to Nate Dogg, reminders to question all that you hear on TV, and a whole lot of prophetic 2012, beware-of-the-quake/tsunami-combo-likely-to-hit-California-type banter. Teacha spent a lot of time on that last one and made sure we got the message by demanding, "Turn my mic up; they need to hear it!"
The biggest standout moment was a freestyle flow set to the classical music of Vivaldi, in which KRS spread the realness on the media and the government off the top of his head. Also especially sweet was the thing that made you fall in love with hip-hop in the first place: a nice, long "fuck the police" sesh! Woot!
Refreshingly, there were no mentions of royal weddings or tiger blood (thank the Lord for that). It was just hip-hop and truth at its finest, in an intimate setting, with the forefather of the game laying it down propa-like during a time when hip as we know it is struggling--all of which was just fine with those of us wise enough to be there.
Critic's Bias: In 1993, Bradley Nowell of Sublime sang a song about KRS-One letting us all know he was down with the realness, which automatically guaranteed I'd be down with him, too . . . and I've been down with him ever since.
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The Crowd: Like attracts like, and KRS is a no-nonsense, 100 percent genuine lyricist from the old school who's into plugging positivity rather than his Twitter account. Therefore, the crowd he attracted was just as old-school, no-frills and no bustas as his music is.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Put it down, rent-a-cop over there!"
Random Notebook Dump: KRS-One overheared a guy in the audience yelling, "Fuck the radio" and made him say it into the mic for the rest of the class to hear.
MC's Act Like They Don't Know
Bridge Is Over
Sound of the Police
Above the Clouds
Step Into a World
It's a Myth
Love's Gonna Getcha
Kill a Rapper
Hip Hop Lives
Get Your Mind Right
Listen to My 9mm
It's My Thang
Who Shot Ya