Last Friday, yours truly managed to catch K-os, the darling of the Canadian hip-hop scene, at a packed Sugar Nightclub in Victoria, B.C. I’ve been a fan of K-os since he released the classic, yet tragically underrated, Exit in 2002. With intelligent, jazzy tracks like Superstarr, Pt. Zero and Heaven Only Knows, the album remains among the finest in Canadian hip-hop history. Joyful Rebellion and Atlantis: Hymns for Disco were similarly dope, and cemented K-os’ status as a genre-bending innovator.
Unfortunately, his live shows never seem to live up to his recorded potential. Although I’ve only seen him live twice, in both cases he came across as a lazy performer. He often forgets his own lyrics, or at least fails to rap fast enough to keep up with the beat, and he changes the tempo on so many tracks that it’s often difficult recognizing the song being played. If it wasn’t for his band – which features some incredible musicians – his live shows would be seriously weak.
Having said that, don’t be afraid to check him out if he comes to your town. Maybe after seeing cats like Heiroglyphics, Lupe Fiasco and J-Live in person, my standards for live emceeing are just too high. And there’s no denying that although K-os missed a few lyrics, he still had the crowd jumping around and having a good time.
In the meantime, check out some random K-os content I dug up on the interweb:
Feist – Mushaboom (K-os Remix)
Chemical Brothers – Get Yourself High ft. K-os (Switch Remix)