28 October 2010

the terrible twin truths of existence

stone cold classic
KRS-One - Brighton Concorde II - 22/10/10

It’s weird isn’t it when your life revolves around your weekend; when you’re trying to pack in as much activity as you can; to see all your friends and spend some positive time with them all. To eat, drink and be merry. To talk, walk or play with the important people in your life. There’s always a birthday, a celebration, a special day, someone to commiserate or congratulate, a gig to support or one of your favourite DJ’s or performers to go see, appreciate, pay homage and dance to. Money to spend, time to fill, happiness to pursue. Dawn to dusk and beyond the sunset and before you know it it’s time to jump back into the hamster wheel of work and it’s Monday morning again. Reflections, memories, photos, reminiscences, anecdotes and an empty wallet the only things to remind of the great time you had.

There’s no avoiding that mad Beckettian grandeur about the terrible twin truths of existence: life is disappointing and death inescapable. Art is part of life and so doomed to failure in the same way. In the same way that memory plays tricks and fades sweetly leaving a glow of half remembered feelings that lose colour into a haze of forgetfulness. And amid all the excruciating self-doubt and imploding self-reflexive theatricality depicted on the dance floor or at the gig, it will reward your effort to maintain the memory and make it down as a classic weekend or a breakthrough weekend. If that effort involves a drive to Brighton to catch hip-hop legend KRS-One then so be it. Worth every minute, every penny, every excruciating endurance of thought and spirit.

In 1984 when most rappers were fixated on their cocks, drugs, ho’s and guns KRS-One was rhyming about nuclear war prevention and urging us to "Stop The Violence". He still does. Old school hip-hop, Jamaican dance hall style, new tunes, anti violence and anti corrupting powers of technology sermons; revisionist views of American history; what he calls "edutainment", all in the mix; to a sell out audience of appreciative hip-hop fans. In Brighton. A pioneering Bronx-based hip-hop artist with a socially conscious message. A man with dexterous verbosity and blunt beat sense; waxing poetically and skillfully. In 1987 came Criminal Minded; its smooth grooves and hard rhymes foreshadowing gangsta rap.

Look out for Back to the L.A.B (Lyrical Ass Beating); an upcoming EP by KRS-One. No release date has been set but top respect for a wicked show.