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Speaking on a personal level, December 1993 provided a couple of transformative encounters for me. That year was the first full year that we operated as a group, and our primary focuses up to that point were recording songs and networking with the other up-nd-comers in the area. Like a lot of younger artists, we had aspirations of being signed to major labels and achieving the stardom that came along with being mainstream hip hop artists. Of course, we had absolutely  no idea what any of that really meant. We started doing more shows, and felt that we were making a bit of progress. If the majors called, we’d be ready…
On December 5, 1993, I attended a concert that changed my life. Mic was there; can’t remember if The Are was there or not. The lineup was: A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and Souls Of Mischief. Those were EASILY my 3 favorite hip hop groups at the time. (It’s well known that ATCQ is my favorite musical entity EVER IN THE HISTORY OF HISTORY.) This was probably the first “legitimate” concert that I attended as a (semi) adult, and remains my favorite to this day. Front row center, standing room only, ribs pressed against the stage the entire time.
This was also the first time that I attended a show as an artist, so I was studying a lot of the intangibles that I took for granted before: crowd engagement, consistency of energy levels, filling every inch of the stage, appearing to actually enjoy performing. In that 3 hours or so, I learned more about performing than in the years before or since.
But what impressed me the most was what happened AFTER the show. ATCQ went on last, and when they ended their set, Mic and I climbed on stage – not knowing whether we were allowed to or not. I just wanted to thank the guys for putting on the best show that i’d ever seen to that point, almost on a fanboy level. I approached Q-Tip first, and he gave me the most sincere man-dap-hug ever. Mic was mad for a quick sec because he thought I knew Tip and was holding out. I think Phife was already gone. Walked over and shook Ali Shaheed’s hand, and he genuinely thanked us for coming out. None of them seemed encumbered by us being u there while they were trying to breakdown their set. Again – things that I would carry with me later in life. That show was exactly what I needed at the time – it gave me the blueprint for the way that I would approach performances of my own.
One week later, we met the Wu Tang Clan. ALL OF THEM….
(continued tomorrow)


Founding member of K-OTIX / The Legendary KO. Unheralded jack of all trades. Spends most of his time these days creating moving pictures and writing some of the best material he's ever written. Likes dogs. Cats - meh.

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