Last week was Hip Hop Appreciated Week, declared by KRS ONE’s Temple of Hip Hop organization, as well as Hip Hop’s 40th anniversary considering Herc’s first blockparty in ’73 as a starting point. Thanks to the new Temple of Hip Hop location opening in Heesterveld Creative Community, Amsterdam Bijlmer KRS spend his time leading various activities and shows down here.
We, Tika Team devision NL (Nadia, Queen Kobra & Be Royal) got the chance to attend an exclusive Gospel of Hip Hop lecture at Bijlmerparktheater and a showcase at De Effernaar, Eindhoven. We were honored and happy to have been a part of this, soaked in all the knowledge and got inspiration for weeeeeeks. To let you in on the experience, we will share some ..
Nadia on KRS – ONE ‘Gospel of Hip Hop’ lecture @ Bijlmerparktheater
Before the actual KRS lecture, there was a talkshow about Woman in Hip Hop and the Temple of Hip Hop provided all of us with lovely vegetarian meals as more excited heads came in. When the doors opened and everyone got themselves and gear in place, with no more than a one-line-introduction the teacher took place on stage. He requested an empty chair to invite our ancestors to join.
The lecture was, if you will, a life-changing event. KRS spoke on a wide range of perspectives to approach Hip Hop and life from, accompanied and supported by facts as well as personal experience. There is no way to summarize this 3 hour lecture, but we will touch some of the subjects and share the knowledge. Each one teach one.
First of he spoke on what it meant to be a Hip Hop scholar, to be the culture (A Hiphoppa) speaking on the culture itself (Hip Hop). Studying the culture you’re living, under academic terms, would make you a cultural anthropologist. If you are actively studying as well as teaching and this culture is Hip Hop you are one of, what KRS calls, the Hip Hop scholars. ‘You have to be the culture to understand the culture’.
One of the questions coming with this statement is the difference between the acts and people listening or liking hip hop music and products, opposed to living and being Hip Hop. ‘There is no right or wrong, your study of Hip Hop will show you one or another, and both is good’. He emphasized the importance but also difficulty of being Hip Hop and being Hip Hop all the time, even when inconvenient or intolerated.
If you claim to be Hip Hop ‘every act you take, you take on behalf of the culture‘, and this is a call for responsibility. It takes courage to live and stand up for our beliefs and express our collective consciousness. It will take sacrifices, cause misunderstanding with friends and family and result in loses, just to stay true to your culture. Is it worth it? Again, ‘the study of Hip Hop will bring out the nature of self‘, and both is good.
He clearly stated the difference in used and meanings of the words Hip Hop/ HipHop/ hiphop/ Hiphoppa and where the initial term comes from. KRS is very distinct in his spellings and this is further explained in the Gospel of Hip Hop. Take notes!
Hiphop: the collective consciousness, the thoughts and feelings of the people, the immaterial.
Hip Hop: the culture, the acts and expression of a culture so the manifestation of the 9 elements, ‘you can see Hip Hop now’.
hip hop: the products a culture produces, in this case mostly rap music.
Hiphoppa: the person living and being the culture.
The last thing I want to highlight is in the last part where he stated that in case you looked up to him to a point where you thought he was better or higher than you, truth is ‘I am only the Hiphoppa before you’. ‘And when I outlive this I need someone from this new generation to take over and do this (..) BUT BETTER!. We need something new and fresh to advance the culture. Now really suprise me, and do it better’. That sounds like a challenge, and I’ll take it!
At the very end, everyone received a certificate of attendance so you are able to call yourself an official Hip Hop scholar, and you just finished your first course. And on that note I’d like to close, cause we, at The Tika, are on it.
If you’d like to have about 500 pages more about KRS One’s all round vision on Hip Hop and life, I encourage you to get yourself a copy of the Gospel of Hip Hop – First Instrument. Buy on Amazon.com
Here is some video footage on the lecture, much thanks to HipHopCore for shooting and uploading the clips.
Queen Kobra on KRS – ONE showcase @ Effenaar, Eindhoven
Since I had to travel from Amsterdam (where my dope, Hip Hop filled weekend started) to Eindhoven, and the trip took me 2,5 hours instead of 1 hour and 20 minutes, I was late. I missed out on the pre-show, done by ‘Het Verzet’, which sucks, because that is one of the illest (if not THE illest) crews the Netherlands have to offer. To get a sense of their style, check out the cypher video below.
Luckily I was just in time to be there when KRS started his show. I didn’t need a DJ or a host to hype me up, I had flashbacks of his lecture and that was more than enough to get me in the mood. Can you imagine this was my very first KRS – ONE show?! Me neither, but it was. And man, it was DOPE.
He shouted out his ancestors, OUR ancestors, and he did that in a very playful way. He used sound fragments and played with them, adjusted the outcome so he could give an appropriate shout out, KRS – ONE style. The shouts went out to all of our soldiers, from Big L, Biggie and Tupac to DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash.
KRS kept the audience entertained, switching from preforming his classics as ‘9 mm’ and ‘Sound of da Police’ (How do you say ‘FUCK THE POLICE’ in Dutch?!) to freestylin’ and preforming new tracks. Boombap, reggae and even some classical music passed the revue, and that proves ‘The Teacha’ masters his craft. He really is a true MC that is letting his inner light shine on everyone that will hear him out.
He signed a record and a blackbook while he was on stage and he went off stage to do a ‘cypher’. Of course if he had given the mic to someone else he would have lost it for the rest of the show, but still it surprised me he himself called it a cypher. It didn’t bother a single soul though, the crowd grabbed this chance to interact with this extraordinary human being, taking pictures and everything, while KRS of course didn’t stop rappin’. In fact, he asked for breakdancers to take the stage while he was off, so they could show off their skills. One B-Boy and one B-Girl took the stage and owned it. KRS gave them his respect and a shirt, and what more can you ask for?
Although it’s a fact that KRS is asthmatic, that didn’t stop him nor the crowd. It did explain why the freestyles were low-tempo, but nonetheless they were dope. More than one time the DJ was asked to adjust the sound because he wanted his crowd to listen carefully, and more than once the DJ was asked for a grimey beat to freestyle on. Overall, KRS did what he does best; He keeps spittin’ knowledge, on and on and on and MAN! I am thirsty for knowledge. Are you?
If you are, I strongly suggest you check out one of KRS’s shows and/or lectures some time. It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen him already or not, just go. You have never learnt enough and KRS is, without a doubt, one of the best teachers I, and many people with me, have ever had. Even if you’ve seen him 10 times already, go to the show. And if you want to ask me why, here it is; Because he deserves it.
Check out Het Verzet video
By Queen Kobra
The credits for the featured image photo go to Brendy Wijdeven.