Krukid at Cowboy Monkey, June 12

As someone who has never seen Krukid perform before, I did not know what to expect. Krukid, a Ugandan born hip-hop artist, took to the stage late at Cowboy Monkey after mingling with his Champaign friends and fans. His style and rhythm were more refined and stronger than I had hoped. It is easy to see how the rapper is one of Rawkus Records’ 50 artists to watch. He blasted through his first few numbers with ease before letting Hazey take the state for a set.
Hazey looked the part and was sufficient in keeping the crowd going, but one wonders why Krukid seemed so absent at his own concert. Hazey invited a few friends of his up to the stage where they rapped along with a track blazing in the background. Krukid finally retook command of the stage after socializing in the crowd during the performance. The raucous excitement had dimmed by then but he still worked the house. Krukid’s easy-going demeanor and approachability showed that his Ugandan roots are just as apparent as his association with the CU hip-hop scene. He even boasts an ode to the city with “Champaign Nightlife,” hosted on his myspace.
Krukid’s abilities at the mic have led to greater notoriety with Rawkus, which released his last album in 2007, entitled Afr-I-Can. A bigger break may come in the future on July 5 in Brooklyn, New York. There, Krukid will be appearing with Talib Kweli in the International Arts Festival. This is a huge opportunity for the local artist to share his music with an unfamiliar crowd. For those of you who will not be in the Brooklyn area over Independence Day weekend, Krukid will be seen in Concerts in the Park on June 29 and Street fest in August.

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