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Concert Tue Oct 26 2010

Review: k-os @ Lincoln Hall, 10/23

K-os3-500x332

"I'm gonna sing to this girl right here, and I know you've got a boyfriend but I don't give a fuck," croons Kevin Brereton, better known as rapper k-os, one of the smoothest performers in hip-hop today. With a backing catalog sampling everything from Joni Mitchell to Ozzy Osbourne and a flirtatious and confident stage persona that could make any girl swoon, k-os offered up a solid set to a crowd of devoted fans Saturday night at Lincoln Hall.

Kicking off the night was another Canadian export, Shad. The self-deprecating rapper brought a good sense of humor to his rhyme, especially on standout track "The Old Prince Still Lives at Home," where he contemplates why a brother needs a dentist and the pros of still living at home. Similar to Ghostface in wit and delivery, he also blended in samples from The Cure and TLC with his verses, making a perfect mash of humor, nostalgia, and soul.

k-os might be a man after my own heart. He kicked off his set with a Radiohead sample, and continued throughout the night by sliding in snippets of Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, and Phantom Planet. Clearly the influence of classic and modern rock are evident throughout his work, but his skills as a rapper were crystal clear by his impressive freestyles. Whether he was riffing on Kanye or concocting a verse from audience directions on how to get to Detroit (the next stop on his tour), his quick turnover from idea to cohesive flow was on par with some of the most seasoned veterans.

Granted I was a fan of his sampling and freestyle, it wasn't all the bells and whistles that impressed me. With tracks ranging from the poignant and dramatic "Emcee Murdah" to the the sunny soul pop "Sunday Morning," k-os excels at creating tension and release in his music, which is crucial when you want to get an audience to feel your music and dance. And judging by the audience, his message was getting through loud and clear. When he ended the night with the jazzed up old school dancehall hit "Crabbuckit," there wasn't a person left standing still. Even the crowd that usually folds their arms and nods along were shaking to the beat, and if you can get a room dancing, clearly you're doing something right.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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