“My name is Krs-One and I’m from the United States of America, the RACIST United States of America”
There’s a pause as he allows the audience to react.
“Fuck the police”
Hard-hitting and direct with his words, The Blastmaster needed no introduction of course, but that wasn’t the point here. Krs-One has never been afraid to speak his educated mind, always relevant, and always speaking for the people. His large middle finger still protruding, arm stretched out towards the packed-out Forum… “fuck the police”, he says it again — just in case anybody missed it the first time.
“It’s not a good time to be a Cop right now, if there are any Cops in the audience you seriously need to reassess your career”.
I didn’t just say ‘large middle finger’ without good reason. Krs is a huge man, with a huge presence, felt even more so as I was on stage-side photographing and only inches away from him — so much so that a few times I had to avoid his sweat driving down on me and my equipment. He is 6ft 4 inches tall with a powerful voice (he spoke briefly to the audience without the microphone to demonstrate this), big opinions and he’s not afraid to voice them. So if there were any officers of the law in the audience that night, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them had to check themselves. When Krs-One speaks, everyone listens.
Of course it wasn’t all about politics and social issues, he put on a five star show as per usual. This was my 3rd time seeing him live and he never seems to lose any energy or influence over the years. He came out to “Welcome To Jamrock”, pretty unique for a Hip-Hop Artist, but then again that just shows his versatility and long-term fondness for reggae. Onto the Hip-Hop — standout performances were ‘Step Into A World’, where he had a selection of B‑Boys breakdancing on stage — ‘The DJ’, ‘Outta Here’ (an absolute favourite of mine), ‘South Bronx’ (taking it back!) and of course ‘Fuck The Police’.
Before he did ‘South Bronx’ he asked the crowd if they remembered the 90’s (regarded by many as the most important, and best, decade for Hip-Hop), and then asked how far back they could remember. “Some of you can probably go back to ’94/95? Others may even recall the start of the 90’s.…well to fully appreciate a Krs One show you’ve gotta go back further than that — to the 80’s!”
“If there are any younger people in the crowd tonight who have never seen a Krs-One show, you are about to witness a Real MC performing”
An Artist that has been around for 4 decades, still remains relevant, and STILL can rock a packed house. He indeed IS Hip-Hop!
- Review: KRS-One & DJ Premier @O2ForumKTown @IAmKRSOne @RealDjPremier — August 22, 2016
- Review: De La Soul (@WeAreDeLaSoul) Live At @Nozstock 2015. — October 2, 2015
- Review: @DJYodaUK at @TheForumHQ — April 5, 2015
This was no ordinary show however. There was another Legend on stage, a few feet back, behind the decks, my favourite Producer of all time, DJ Premier. A real DJ and Producer and one of the few who have maintained Deejaying in its art form, ‘Preemo’ was scratching and mixing vinyls as he has been doing so for decades, many of the younger generation would be clueless as to what (and how) he was doing.
Prior to Krs-One’s set he was spinning classic track after classic track, classic beats and tributes. From Nas to Jay Z, Jeru to Fat Joe and Group Home to Gangstarr, it was like a timeline through the 90’s into the early 2000’s of Hip Hop anthems and classics. His library of music production is so large and impressive that there wasn’t even time to play any of his recent work done for the likes of Dr Dre, The Game and Royce Da 5“9.
What he did make time for were tributes for those no longer with us including 2pac, Biggie and ODB. Touchingly he got the crowd to raise one hand up in the shape of an ‘L’ for Big L and the other hand lifted with a finger pointing up for his lifelong career partner Guru. With a 100% crowd participation it was a fitting tribute.
I am so honoured that I was part of this show, this was one for the ages.
Real Hip-Hop lives on.
*I Am Hip-Hop Magazine team is aware of the recently published child abuse allegations. If our readers would like to find more information on this matter, please refer to other sources. Our writers are exclusively reviewing live performances and will not comment on any character directly or indirectly involved in such matters. We appreciate your understanding.*