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You Must Learn

KRS-One, Ottobar, April 8

Jefferson Jackson Steele

By Jason Torres | Posted 4/13/2005

“I travel all across this country, all over the world, trying to spread hip-hop,” proclaimed KRS-One, the quintessential MC and easily the culture’s most prized possession, while catching his breath during his inspired performance for the beyond-capacity crowd at the Elements Party at the Ottobar. “And every now and then, I come to a little place like this, and I find out that it’s already here.”

From the gate, the Ottobar was buzzing, two lines deep with hip-hop fanatics waiting to catch a glimpse of the boogie-down Bronx hip-hop ambassador. Doors opened at 9 p.m., and in less than an hour the scheduled breakers, the equally dope Deadly Venoms and Dutch Masterz, were rendered pointless as the crowd devoured the dance floor before the openers took the stage. New Jersey’s S.O.S was up first and was off the stage faster than it took to do a mic check, not that anyone really noticed, followed by New Yorkers Brokendomer, who warmed the crowd up for local act and opening highlight Real to Real, who scorched the stage with its mix of bouncy and gritty that had the crowd moving. Then Third Kind DJ Krucial didn’t let a cast on his arm stop him from going down memory lane as he scratched, chopped, and dropped classic cuts by Biz Markie, Nice and Smooth, and pretty much every party jam from the KRS-One era and beyond.

KRS-One didn’t disappoint. With nearly everyone in attendance rapping along, he flexed much of his 18-year catalog, straying from his hits only to drop quick, motivational speaker-style gems about personal responsibility. He freestyled, signed autographs, and then freestyled about signing autographs, all without missing a beat. Basically, he killed. He looked and sounded as good as ever and the night went off without a glitch. Except for the random chick that jumped onstage to complain to KRS-One about a dude in the crowd who was being disrespectful. KRS played mediator, asked dude to go backstage with the young lady to settle the dispute like responsible adults, properly and intelligently. Now that’s Edutainment.

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