We gave it an A+
Because most rappers do concerts with only a microphone and a couple of turntables, live rap has always (but often unfairly) gotten blasted for being boring. A Boogie Down Productions release, recorded at performances in New York, Paris, and London, Live Hardcore Worldwide is the perfect antidote for this misconception. Leader KRS-One romps through the strongest songs on his group’s four albums, avoiding the unfocused material that sometimes plagues his otherwise fascinating studio releases, and unhampered by the muffled sound that mars most concert recordings. Neither KRS-One nor the roaring crowds can contain themselves: The rapper’s voice ripples with glee and passion over resonating, unadorned beats; his audiences hang with him all the way, shouting and chanting along with his messages of black pride and social activism. This may not be rap’s first live album (the 2 Live Crew released one earlier this year), but few other live recordings — rap, rock, jazz, or classical — have better captured the collective rapture that is the hallmark of live music.