KRS-One shared wit and wisdom on the Trocadero stage
KRS-One | Photo by Morgan Smith |

Real hip-hop is alive and well. Sunday’s performances at The Troc, with KRS-One headlining, proved that not only is there so much to love about real, original hip-hop music but that like the people of Philadelphia that love comes in all forms. Mingling among 50-year-old men in bucket hats and crimson Adidas jumpsuits were skinny-legged hipsters, collar-popping bros and scores of others who defy categorization; an audience as boundless as the reach and appeal of the art.
Kicking things off, local rapper Roi Lush opened up the show with ferocious energy and wit along with Joey Fattz, Al Billz and J Fletch. While perhaps not as seasoned as the artists whose stage they shared, their poetic performances inspired great hope for what’s to come.

Bearing such tenses in mind, where others would be dulled by decades of grinding along, the talent and intellect of KRS-One and Das EFX have only been sharpened – these are old-school masters with energy and alchemical lyrical skills that rival artists half their age. South Bronx legend KRS-One blessed the stage with wit, wisdom, live painting and uncompromising assaults on the status quo which ring as true today as when his career got its start.

Not to be outshone, DJ Dice and DJ Predator Prime restored the athleticism and artistry to disc jockeying with impressive displays of turntable prowess; their showmanship and deft skill a welcome relief from the lame laptop pantomime that’s become all too familiar.

Nearly 27 years ago, KRS-One released Criminal Minded as a member of Boogie Down Productions and the Trocadero crowd recited every line as if the album had just dropped last month. Proof positive that without Lawrence Krisna Parker, hip-hop wouldn’t be where it is today. This admiration isn’t one-sided, though, and KRS-One said it best: “There is no me without you.”

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