It was a great night for Hip Hop this past Saturday at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre. Hip Hop was definitely in the building. On the bill for the evening was: Kwame, Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, and Rakim. Talk about a heavy hitting line up! Kwame was up first as he took us through a medley of his classic joints. There were two stand out moments. Kwame shined a spotlight on his DJ, Tat Money and Tat Money did not disappoint. He showed why he is still one of the greats on the wheels of steel. Second, Kwame broke down his early beginnings and told the story of how he built the track for ‘The Rhythm’. To hear the story and all of the nostalgia that goes along with is was priceless.


Kool Moe Dee was up next and he delivered a great show as only he can. He spoke briefly about the ‘beef’ he had with LL Cool J and he let the crowd know that it was always all love between him and LL and their beef was lyrical on wax. After going through some of his classics Kool Moe Dee went way back to his Treacherous Three days and did a couple of joints with LA Sunshine and Special K. Man what a treat to get these legends on stage together again rockin’ the crowd and not missing a beat. Kool Moe Dee paid tribute to all of the fallen artists who have passed over the years most recently with Biz Markie. Kool Moe Dee also brought Grandmaster Caz out on stage and they rocked a freestyle together that brought the house down.


Up next was the Prince of Darkness, Big Daddy Kane. BDK came out and talked about how good it felt to be back in front of a live audience after over a year of things being shut down because of the pandemic. BDK in classic form commanded the stage and took us back down memory lane with his hit joints. He opened the show with ‘Raw’ and showed why he is considered one of the greatest lyricists to ever bless the mic. BDK performed his verse of ‘The Symphony’ and afterwards he brought out Speech from Arrested Development and Speech did a verse from ‘Everyday People’ bringing his Atlanta hometown to its feet. Kane went into ‘I Get The Job Done’ with a B-Boy Ta Ta in tow and showed us all that at 52 he still got it by hitting his dance moves with the same precision as he did in 1989. The finisher was the way Kane performed ‘Ain’t No Half Steppin’ and how he left the stage in the middle of the verse as only the Prince of Darkness could leaving the crowd clamoring for more. You had to be there!


KRS-One was up next and the energy he brought to the stage was electrifying and that’s putting it lightly. He dug into the crates and went through a few classic Boogie Down Productions classics, ‘South Bronx’ amd ‘Criminal Minded’. I have never in all my years of attending concerts seen a man bring other men to their feet like The Teacha. Men were losing their minds rapping verse for verse with KRS as he went through his supreme catalog of hits. After leaving the stage he was called back for an encore and KRS came back and rocked the house with ‘Still #1’, and ‘Love’s Gonna Get Ya’.


Rakim closed the show and the God MC delivered and did not disappoint. He performed the classics, ‘I Know You Got Soul’, ‘My Melody’, ‘I Ain’t No Joke’, along with a few other hits before they stopped the show so a Fulton County Commissioner could come out and issue proclamations to all the legends of the night. My only problem with this is that it cut into Rakim’s show and stole time from him as they cut his set because of the time constraint Mable House enforces for shows to end by 10:30 PM. That was horrible because Rakim was just getting started and he wasn’t allowed to finish his set. I did enjoy his ‘Microphone Fiend’ performance that was very animated with Rakim acting like a junkie injecting the cord from the mic into his arm like he was shooting up. Rakim killed his verse on ‘Paid In Full’ and the entire crown rapped the verse along with him. There were many legends in the building to take in the show also. A few of those legends include Ed Lover, Darryl ‘Chill’ Mitchell, and Grandmaster Dee of Whodini. Overall this was a show that you shouldn’t have missed if you’re a fan of real Hip Hop!

By Kedric Barrett

Photos: Terrence Carter

Kool Moe Dee
Big Daddy Kane