MERCED — A music legend widely regarded as a hip-hop pioneer will stop in downtown Merced for the first time Saturday.
KRS-One will perform at The Partisan with five other acts. Tickets are $15, and doors open at 8 p.m. The show Is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.
Regarded for his erudite lyrical content and deep sociopolitical analysis, KRS-One, born Lawrence Kris Parker, rose to prominence during the mid-1980s with the group Boogie Down Productions. According to his biography from the Temple of Hip Hop, KRS is an acronym for "Knowledge Reigning Supreme."
KRS-One penned songs on albums including "Edutainment" and "Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop," which examined subjects such as education, politics, police brutality and racism.
Known by the nickname The Teacha, he's evolved into one of the genre's foremost elder statesmen and has lectured at more than 500 universities. James Deans, promoter of Saturday's concert and a local hip-hop artist who goes by the stage name Destructo Bunny, said KRS-One embodies hip hop "as much as any individual in the world."
Deans and his group, Atlantis Rizing, also will perform at Saturday's show, along with up-and-comers Defiant Strike Crew, Modesto native Justumone, Dthamc and newcomers UnKoolKiddz.
Deans said public response to the show has been phenomenal. "The energy is a fever pitch" he said. "I'm constantly getting asked about it every day, from people who want to play or people looking for tickets. He's one of the biggest acts to ever come to Merced."
Merced resident Marcy Martinez is one of many people looking forward to Saturday's performance. "When I envision the KRS-One show, I picture the hip-hop community coming together as if it were a family reunion of sorts and that KRS-One would be like the father of hip-hop at this family reunion," Martinez said.
Born in Brooklyn in 1965 and raised in the Bronx, KRS-One witnessed hip-hop's birth through the famed block parties and park jams hosted by pioneers such as DJ Kool Herc and Afrika Bambatta, according to his biography.
After five albums with Boogie Down Productions, which he founded with the late DJ Scott La Rock, KRS-One began recording as a solo artist. With 20 albums and three books under his belt, along with countless collaborations with other artists, he's cemented himself as one of hip-hop's architects.
In 1989, he formed the Stop The Violence Movement, a collective of artists dedicated to putting an end to violence in black communities. Less than a decade later, he established the Temple of Hip Hop, whose main goal is to maintain and promote hip-hop culture.
Tickets for Saturday's show are sold out online, but there will be 50 tickets available at the door. The event is for ages 21 and over. The Partisan is at 432 W. Main St. in downtown Merced.