Taken from Spartan Daily (Feb 17, 2015)
KRS-ONE shuts the Catalyst down
in his one night in Santa Cruz
by David Bermudez
“If you don’t know me by now, I doubt you’ll ever know me, I never won a Grammy, I won’t win a Tony, but I’m not the only MC keepin’ it real, when I grab the mic to smash a rapper, girls go, ‘ill…” rapped 49-year-old hip-hop legend KRS-ONE as he took over The Catalyst club in Santa Cruz on Thursday.
Knowledge Reign Supreme Over Nearly Everybody, better known as KRS-ONE, controlled the crowd from the moment he came onstage at 11:15 p.m. and held the masses captivated for his entire set.
For 30 minutes, KRS-ONE had the disc jockey adjust his levels up and turn the music down so the crowd could hear his words. He finished freestyling by saying “This is all off the top we going down, you, you’re making your own DVD, I want you to make your own company, while I come back again this is how I spit it, I’m doing a soundcheck, I ain’t really ready to get down yet. Everywhere I go, it’s that raw MC, everywhere I go I say f—- MTV. Y’all know what it is, cuz my skills is insane, I go off the top like JFK’s brain.”
KRS-ONE had the crowd where he wanted them and began to dish out some of his 90’s hits such as “Step into a World (Rapture’s Delight)” from his 1997 album “I Got Next.”
“He was amazing tonight,” said 24-year-old Santa Cruz resident Ananta Govinda Das. “It was my first time watching him and he did better than what I thought it was going to be. I’ve been listening to his music since I was 13 years old when I was in a dancing group and I still love his music and this kind of hip-hop today.”
The whole night showcased the best characteristics of hip-hop. Positive vibes united people to music that is hardly hear on today’s radio and fans watched each other break dance.
22-year-old Andreas Tillman Jr., who goes by the name Dre T, came from Sacramento to open up the show.
Dre T opened for KRS-ONE last month in Sacramento, describing this experience as something that he would never forget and as ‘unbelievable.’
“I’ve opened up for other artists before but none of them are like him,” Dre T said. “KRS talked about the evolution of hip-hop and how people would tell him back when it first started that after five years hip-hop would be over, and look at it now, it’s still here today and still filling out venues and traveling around the world.”
After doing songs from “I Got Next,” KRS-ONE continued to freestyle over rap instrumentals and told the crowd the first half hour was simply a “sound check.” Then he went back to his original material starting off with “The MC” where KRS-ONE spits “Who am I? The MC, la-di da-di, I don’t wear Versace, I wear DJ’s out quickly at the party, Who am I?, If you’re like me hip-hop is in your body. ”
From that point on, KRS-ONE went into all of his classic hits from his 1987 album “Criminal Minded” like “South Bronx” and “The Bridge is Over.” He also did “My Philosophy,” “I’m Still #1” and “Sound of da Police.”
KRS-ONE even broke down what hip-hop has evolved to since he came onto the scene in 1987 and how it has changed in his song “Hip-Hop Knowledge.”
“To be onstage and rap with him was just something I would never forget,” Dre T said. “For him to call us onstage and let us do our thing with him and he remembered who I was, it was amazing.”
At the end of the show, KRS-ONE called on everyone in the crowd who considered themselves a rapper to come up onstage and freestyle with him, something that no “major label” artist would ever think of doing today.
“This is my second time seeing him live,” 29-year-old Anders Steele said. “I saw him live when I was 16 in Virginia and didn’t even know about this show until my buddy from back home told me that KRS was going to be here. There was no way I was missing this show because I’ve been listening to his music since I was kid.”
Once the show was over, KRS-ONE hopped off stage and walked into the crowd taking pictures and shaking hands leaving the crowd buzzing and walking out satisfied out of The Catalyst and into the Santa Cruz night.