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Who’s the Best Live Performer You’ve Ever Seen?

Posted by Nathan S. on 08/14/13 | Filed under Debates, RH Nation Answers


It's Wednesday, and you know what that means. That's right, it's time to hump the question of the week*! And considering what's been going down for the last 48 hours, there's really only one question I could ask: Who Had the Best "Control" Response?

Naw, I'm just fucking with you. I'd rather be locked in a cell with only Nicki Minaj's "Stupid Ho" playing on repeat. I'm feeling burnt out on debate, so instead, how about we do something completely different. Namely, "Who's the Best Live Performer You've Ever Seen?"

What I like about this one is that it's really not particularly debatable. The definition of a great live show is...you went to the show and it was great. It really is a completely subjective and personal experience. So while there might be some room for "I've seen that guy and I think this other guy is better", I'm more interested in this as a list of people I need to fucking make sure I see live than some hardcore rap nerd debate.

With that said, I do want to offer up one quick disclaimer/asterisk; a live show obviously varies night to night. For example, I saw A$AP Rocky and company and it was thoroughly unimpressived, but I've heard other people say he's actually really dope and I just happened to see a poorly put together tour.

Ok, onto the actual nominees...

The first time I saw KRS-ONE was fucking dope. I never "wave my hands in the air" anymore, that shit's absurdly played out, but I did for KRS because when he tells you to put your hands in the air, you realize he might have actually been the guy who invented it. Moving on, Common's always incredible, especially when he does real freestyles on stage (who many other rappers would have the cojones to do that in front of thousands?) I've seen Wu-Tang a few times now, which was dope, and Method Man's clearly the best performer in the Wu. That dude's a fucking living bundle of rap energy. (I don't want to get negative, but I also feel like I have to mention that the few times I've seen Nas has been pretty lukewarm.)

More recently, Big K.R.I.T. is always a guaranteed good show, the last time I saw ScHoolboy Q he was just fucking amazing, and if it might anger the purists, but I happened to see Macklemore right before "The Heist" blew up and that was a fucking great live show.

But really, there's only one answer for me, only one act that I've seen again and again. (Just realized that's actually a great test - how many times would you see them. For example, I saw 50 Cent live and it was a good live show, but I also feel like I've crossed him off my bucket list. I'm not in any particular rush to see him again. Anyway...) Of course I'm talking about The Roots:



As anyone who's seen The Roots play live knows, it's not just that they play all of their fucking classic catalog, it's that you never know what they're going to get. You might get an all-tuba remix of "This Is Why I'm Hot", you might get a Black Thought freestyle over the "Apache" beat, you might get Jill Scott popping up for a verse. I'm easily more than a dozen Roots shows deep in the game, and I'd happy do another twelve. (I mean, who else could have pulled off "Block Party"? That says it all right there.)

All right RefinedHype Nation, you're up. On the real, I trust your recommendation more than anyone's. If everyone says rapper x is someone you have to see, and I haven't seen them, I'm buying tickets. Have at it...

* I said hump the question of the week. Get it? I post the question of the week on Wednesday, which is also called Hump Day, so....

RefinedHype has merged with The DJBooth. It's the same articles you loved on RefinedHype, new address. For more info, check out the official announcement.


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