It would truly be fair to say that on Sunday September 14th, Kool Haus was brought down to its knees. The Legendary Amnesia party brought to you by Ian Andre Espinet has been on everyone’s lips for the past couple of months. Who will be on the bill to tantalize the old school senses of concert goers this year? Never one to disappoint, Amnesia came to deliver an exceptional show with one of the best to grace a mic – Big Daddy Kane, and R&B sensation Karyn White. The two performed to a packed house where revelers where ready to celebrate in full force.
DJ Starting From Scratch and DJ Jason Chambers definitely got the mood in check with song choice selections that were taken to higher highs by a music video display of each track. Everyone collectively lost their minds to the old school R&B and hip hop selections, spitting verses and singing along like it was nobody’s business. And to think that the festivities were just getting started.
Although some guessed who the second guest was, everyone was quite surprised to see Karyn White burst onto the stage. She has been out of the game for 17 years, so to see her sashay and do her thing was fantastic. Ripping through old school favorites “Secret Rendezvous,” and ” The Way You Love Me” was a sweet pleasure. Karyn also jumped into her new single “Seize The Day” from her new album Carpe Diem. Unfortunately, it seemed to have fallen on deaf ears, since the crowd didn’t even seem to be aware that Karyn had a new album out. Ending with her super-ballad “Superwoman,” Karyn worked the hell out of the stage and had everyone singing along from the top of their lungs, word for word. Now that the crowd was seasoned and ready, it was time to set it off.
Big Daddy Kane’s energy was palpable, his lyricism is one thing, but his intensity and force is something to reckon with. The man is, of course, the epitome of flyness. Never mind that he started straight spitting from when he got on stage, but when he dropped “Set It Off” it was evident that the whole night was taken to another plateau. He cruised through hip hop favourites “Daddy’s Home,” “Young, Gifted and Black,” “Smooth Operator,” I Get The Job Done” and a few others, but most notably “Raw.” At that point, Kane jumped into the crowd to the contentment of many adoring females and crazed male hip hop heads, it was a sight to see. The segue into “Ain’t No Half Steppin’” was definitely smooth as it took us down memory lane through the hip hop vibes of yesteryear with mentions of Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte, and the crew. What would the night be without a mention of some of the greats that have come our way? It was damn near perfect and absolutely satisfying. The eye-catching choreography that Kane and his crew – Scoob Lover and Scrap Lover (Sean Lover filled in for Scrap) whip into onstage during “Warm It Up Kane” is always the highlight of the show. Those steps are engrained in their make up, so it’s only right that we get treated to the splendour of it all. The kicks, the heel/toe perfection, the splits – everyone damn near lost their mind. Rightfully so. It’ was the epic conclusion to a 14 year Amnesia Anniversary celebration.
What could Ian Andre Espinet and his team possibly come up with next year for their 15th anniversary? That is a question totally deserving of an answer, and we will get one – next year when the time comes. Until then, those who attended the BDK and Karyn White bonanza will have a host of memories to last a lifetime.