Recap: Hip-Hop Live NYC Edition With KRS-ONE & Mad Lion

By | March 1, 2013 at 11:23 pm | No comments | Featured Post, MUSIC, Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, Fusicology and Liquid Sweets hosted a special Hip Hop Live/NYC Edition event that featured heavyweight Hip-hop legend KRS-ONE with reggae musician/rapper, Mad Lion. Resident DJ, Anthony Valadez, and host KG Superstar kept the crowd lifted through the night, transforming the Zanzibar stage into a vibrant and refreshing hip-hop musical experience.

Regarded as a throwback night to the golden era of hip-hop for many attendees, resident DJ, Anthony Valadez set the tone for the evening, spinning old-school classics more likely found during crate-digging sessions at the local record store than what any surrounding club could possibly offer. From DJ Anthony Valadez’s vibrant jams to viewing the “Wild Style” backdrop against the disco balls that illuminated the venue, I couldn’t deny that I was at the place to be that Tuesday night. As if in agreement to my conclusion, the crowd themselves were getting into their respective zones. Genuine smiles and “Oh-yeah!” shouts were accompanied by two-stepping and hip-rocking dance moves that painted the dance floor as the night progressed.

But alas, the night was still young. Reggae superstar, Mad Lion made his way to stage and was welcomed with cheers and flashing lights. As he grabbed the mic and said “Whaddup” to the beautiful Los Angeles crowd, the gritty sounds of boom-bass reggae began to flow, naturally followed by rhymes reminiscent to a Jamaican neighborhood dance party. A true innovator to the genre himself, Mad Lion blends together reggae, dancehall, and hip hop to create one of the most influential sounds for a generation. From the deejay who blasted Mad Lion’s reggae tunes to the crowd that found their way onto the stage, people were throwing their hands and drinks in the air, happy to release their inhibitions by dancing with the night.

KRS-ONE made his way onto the stage, and the audience was quick to capture the moment, ignited in happiness as they cheered the pioneer to the hip hop genre itself. KRS-ONE addressed the audience as witnesses to a legendary concert, explaining “Yo! It’s funny we’re rockin in a place like this with a carpet on the floor… but it was just like this, how we used to get down. Real MC’s (we) got down in a spot smaller than this. Early clubs back in the day, (people) would say,’ I wish I was there, that’s old school. Well ya here now!” KRS, an acronym for “Knowledge Reigning Supreme”, first debuted in the rap scene in 1986 as Boogie Down Productions, releasing his first hit single “South Bronx” with the late DJ Scott La Rock. Alongside Long-time collaborator, Dallion Priest aka Mad Lion, the pair took to the stage, proclaiming, “This is Harlem World!”

Speakers vibrated and time became irrelevant as classics were performed live, including “Sound of Da Police” and “Step Into A World (Rapture’s Delight)”. KRS boldly took to the microphone as his primary weapon of choice, performing “Murda Ya” to an enchanted audience who sang along to every hook. With his wealth of knowledge proclaiming “the mind is outside of time,” he masterfully took the crowd through memory lane, paying respect to Big L and Eazy E. Hailed as a “master teacher” by the Zulu nation, KRS freestyled over beats, enriching his rhymes with an ode to hip hop’s progression beginning in 1976 and through the 80’s, shouting out groups like Run DMC, Rock Steady, Grandmaster Flash and finally 1986, with the debut of his crew Boogie Down Productions.

A refreshing anomaly in the rap game, KRS embodies the “Amen Break” through his love of the art, even taking a moment to show his appreciation to the crowd by signing copies of his records. Through his tales of self-discovery and raw freestyles, you are valiantly reminded of why you fell in love with hip hop in the first place. Thank you KRS ONE for representing your legacy to the fullest: “Once you realize you’re not just doing hip hop, but you are hip hop you will see your (future) self. Your 80 year old self is dependent on your 20 year old self and the decisions you make now. Be a friend to the future you.”

And if you can’t get with that, take another listen to “MCs Act Like They Don’t Know”, educate yourself, and as KRS ONE would say, “you better act like you know!”

Words by: Leslie Dizon
Photography by: Elainne Dizon

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