Before The Teacha began his lectures, there were three Baltimore native openers listed for the evening. First up was WishGRANTed. The performer bounded across the stage with youthful energy as his songs played. The music he performed was certainly hip-hop, though perhaps not in the strictest sense of it. A lot of modern influence permeated Grant’s sound, making it perhaps not the greatest fit for this show. However, the audience seemed pretty into his performance, with a few fans of his clearly in the show, often singing along to his lyrics.
up was Eva Rhymes, another Baltimore rapper, who brought a couple friends along
with her on stage, including a singer and violinist. She came in style, with a
fur coat, fishnet stockings and a pair of sunglasses that digitally scrolled
her name across them. She performed her excellent hip-hop stylings to a fairly
receptive crowd. At one point she began to stray from what she considered
strictly hip-hop, but stopped the song and corrected herself once she
remembered what show she was opening.
The final opener of the evening was Stay Up News veteran Ill Conscious, who brought several other performers with him on stage as well. The West Baltimore native’s intricate flows and delivery managed to entertain the audience, even this deep into the openers. Ill Conscious performed with rapper Jay Royale, rap duo Dirt Platoon and singer Omnia Azar over the course of his set, adding different dynamics and energy throughout. Ill’s skill on the mic is evident, and the audience clearly respected him for it, reciprocating his raps with cheers and claps.
After a quick warm-up from KRS’s DJ, The Teacha himself finally graced the stage. KRS-One spent approximately the next 90 minutes showing everyone in the audience exactly why he is considered such a legend. Performing his immense back catalogue of course took up the majority of the set. It seemed like every member of the mostly older, black audience knew each lyric to KRS-One’s entire history of music. The Teacha’s charisma has not missed a beat either, with his performances just as electric as ever. The 54-year-old shows that age is only a number while performing his hits like “Sound of da Police.”
other parts of his show consisted of lectures and freestyles. There was
significant chemistry between KRS and his DJ, which allowed for them to
seamlessly transition between dynamics and beats. The quieter moments of the
instrumental allowed KRS-One to do what he does best and spit, often for
minutes at a time, off the top of his head, and even manage to drop jewels in the
KRS-One also took the time to
speak to people without instrumentals or rhymes, teaching about the changes in
the music industry since he came into it. One of his longest lectures consisted
of deriding the industry for becoming a sort of musical middleman between the
consumer and the artist, driving up the price of art, while simultaneously
cheapening it in the process.
KRS-One is undoubtedly one of
our living legends in hip-hop, and hip-hop is better off for it. Whether it is
seen in the thousands of protégés KRS-One has influenced with his sounds, some
of which performed before him this very evening, or in the performances of The
Teacha himself, rap would not be the same if KRS-One had not laid his stamp on
it for the past three and a half decades.