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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

ONE MusicFest ran the gamut from ultra-hard to off the damn wall

The third annual outdoor music celebration ONE MusicFest hit town this past weekend (Saturday, Sept. 1, to be exact), banging sounds from a divergent roster of acts (such as Eric Roberson and Atlanta's own BOSCO) under a hot-ass ATL sun. I was in the house at Masquerade Music Park, checking out a few of the headlining artists, and here’s what I thought of their performances:

Big K.R.I.T.: While onstage, the Mississippi-born rapper Big K.R.I.T. joked that critics say he makes too many records about candy paint and cars. But thanks to his sheer, unbridled energy on the mic last Saturday, he could have moved the crowd with songs about pre-paid legal. Dude attacked the stage so hard, it seemed as if there was more than just one guy (well, two, including his DJ) in the spotlight. During his set (which included K.R.I.T. favorites “Live from the Underground,” “My Sub” and more) he repped the South ultra-hard, channeling the very best elements of UGK, Eightball and MJG, and OutKast.

Santigold: Santigold is off the damn wall ... in a good way. In her first concert appearance in Atlanta, the Philly native showed up just as a her fans would expect: with backup dancers busting out some bizarre moves, a band garbed in a variety of strange costumes (including, at one point, two guys dressed as a horse), and more. Still, her theatrical shenanigans didn’t take away from her vocal performance, which was ultra-crisp and, at times, better than her recordings. And, judging by the way the crowd enthusiastically responded to her live renditions of songs like “Disparate Youth,” “L.E.S Artistes,” “Say Aha” and others, I get the feeling Santigold will be back in Atlanta relatively soon.

The Legends of Hip-Hop: The old-school squad of Doug E. Fresh, MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane and Slick Rick (with a cameo by MC Shan) closed out the show, treating the audience to a bevy of classics. The assemblage of MCs sounded great, but Big Daddy Kane shined the brightest — and that’s probably because (besides running through hits like “Smooth Operator” and “I Get the Job Done,” among others) he’s a cat from back in the day you don’t get to see or hear much live on stage. I love Doug and Slick Rick, but they seem like they stay on the road. Kane’s appearances are, at least for now, properly spaced out treats.

See full ONE MusicFest photo gallery.

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