Got the distinct pleasure to see KRS-1 perform at Whisky A Go-Go this weekend, and he did not disappoint. The Teacha is on my Mount Rushmore of MCs and he showed why as he performed hits that are almost thirty years old and can still move a crowd. In addition, he previewed songs off of a forthcoming album that display the unique mix of lyrical skill and depth of thought that put KRS in a stratosphere few others occupy. A couple of other takeaways from watching Chris Parker do his thing:
1. His voice is an instrument unto itself - Over and over again he told the DJ (his son) to turn the track down so he could showcase the lyrics or the freestyle that he was about to go into. His voice thundered over the crowd and commanded their attention in the same way that you snapped to attention when he yelled "YOU MUST LEARN!" through the radio.
2. When you are authentically talented, you will find your crowd - Whisky A Go-Go is far from doing the Tunnel in NYC or other famous spots where KRS made his name, but it didn't matter. Fans of all sorts came out and sat through some awful openers to hear The Teacha do his thing. He signed LPs that fans brought, and any other item that people handed him. Most importantly, he showed that he remains a different breed from rappers who simply try to make a "hit" while saying nothing. For that, the fans have remained loyal all over the world.
3. I'm now a Hip-Hop old head - I'm officially of the age where I believe that the music of my generation trumps anything that will be made in the future. In Hip-Hop that means that the music of the late eighties into the early oughts can't be touched as a body of work. Are there certain albums/artists that are outliers? Certainly, but as someone who tries to stay true to the culture that was a large part of my youth identity, I don't see the same kind of creativity of style and message that there was in the golden age of Hip-Hop.
As soon as I can get my hands on the new album Now Hear This, I'm getting it. KRS clearly still has lessons to teach. I'll be taking notes the same way I have for the last twenty years.