KRS-One @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 05.07.16

The legendary MC turns in a blistering set at the Brudenell

Jul 5th, 2016 at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds / By Sam Bennett
KRS-One @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 05.07.16 KRS-One needs no introduction. The hip-hop pioneer and legendary live performer touches down in Leeds for a highly anticipated show at Brudenell Social Club. The venue is packed, and the West Yorkshire hip-hop heads have come out in force to witness the veteran MC at a rare UK appearance.

First up is Weezy Jefferson, a Leeds born and bred MC who demonstrates passionate lyricism over consistently banging beats. Animated and energetic, he drops Mass Appeal from his upcoming mixtape Mr. Nice Guy Vol. 1, and his lyrics are pronounced with clarity and definition. Having seen the local boy live a number of times at support slots around the city, tonight is without doubt his best appearance, and his newfound professionalism and sophisticated showmanship is a real crowd pleaser. He drops Dear Hip-Hop, the lead single from Jeff's upcoming project, which is followed by an incredibly hyped BMF Remix, with West Yorkshire legend Dialect joining on stage. Jeff leaves us in the capable hands of Pertrelli and Blacks for a ferocious short performance.

After making his entrance into the Brudenell Social Club by literally walking through the front door, the man, the myth, the legend that is the mighty KRS-One takes to the stage. There's only one CDJ working, and KRS' DJ shouts to the sound-team to fix the problem, but the set isn't being delayed a second and we're instantly treated to the classic South Bronx. Tonight's show goes at blistering pace, with the Blastmaster dropping The Bridge Is Over, Criminal Minded and Jack Of Spades in rapid succession. The second CDJ starts working for a moment, but after the dope performance of the safe-sex anthem Jimmy we're back to the sole deck. KRS gives the crowd a ton of sick freestyles throughout the night, and the authentic hip-hop essence is exhumed through the microphone; KRS signals to his DJ to bring the volume down, and he drops on-the-spot lyrics that can be heard and felt all around the jam packed Brudenell Social Club. This is undoubtedly a true masterclass in how to deliver a flawless hip-hop show.

The sound-engineer arrives with a replacement CDJ, and is greeted by rousing cheers from the heads in attendance. The smooth production of Hip Hop Lives is matched with a gritty delivery, and the legendary Bronx MC repeatedly calls for the beat to be turned up louder, and when the desired level is finally reached (shown by a thumbs up from KRS), the impact is felt in full force. They still only have one working CDJ, but the show goes on regardless, and what a show it is. He drops some new material, and the content is, unsurprisingly, highly intellectual and thought-provoking. Sweat pours off the legendary MC; you couldn't even begin to associate the word lacklustre with KRS' highly energetic performance.

The legendary MC shows his versatility in a remarkable way, spitting over a Vivaldi composition, and he absolutely kills it. Every era of KRS' career, and therefore every era of hip-hop, is represented tonight, and the heads are nodding and the fists are pumping as he runs through Love's Gonna Get'Cha. He performs Soundman, and dedicates it to tonight's team behind the mixing desk; even though the CDJ still isn't working they've done everything in their power to try and resolve the issue. KRS made the technical difficulties a part of the show, whereas most MC's ego or lack of showmanship would undoubtedly have seen them falter.

Tonight was an exhilarating and wildly entertaining evening, and KRS-One commands the attention of the packed out Brudenell Social Club from the moment he arrived in the venue to the last word said through the microphone. The support slots were great, with each artist taking full advantage of the big stage, and the main event was flawless; even though the set is by no means a short one it's still over far too quickly. If you ever get the chance to see the Blastmaster live, please, please make the trip.