Konshens the MC and Classically Dope combine poetry, hip-hop and chamber music
This week’s show is different than anything you’ve ever heard on KPAC before! Konshens the MC is a hip-hop artist, songwriter, educator and youth advocate from Washington D.C. He is also the MC of Classically Dope, which merges hip-hop lyrics with original classical arrangements—and it’s not a gimmick, says Konshens. He’s all in.
“I would refer to us a little bit like a classical version of The Roots, or a classical version of Frankie Beverly and Maze,” Konshens explained.
“This is the actual group. As opposed to seeing, like now they have Young Jeezy, who's doing an orchestral show in Atlanta. Rick Ross just did one. Kendrick Lamar just did one a few years ago. Jay-Z and Nas have both done them. But those shows have just been one-off shows. What I'm doing is actually… this is not a one-off show. This is the actual group. This is classical poetry and hip-hop that you're going to get all the time.”
You’ll hear Konshens’ thoughtful lyrics addressing social and personal issues, balanced by a small chamber ensemble led by collaborator Derek Maseloff. And lest you think the combination of hip-hop and classical an odd pairing, there's plenty of precedent for spoken word over classical music, from Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" to French classics like "L'histoire de Babar," by Francis Poulenc.
The show, recorded at TPR’s Malú and Carlos Alvarez Theater on January 28, 2023, was a joint presentation between TPR and DreamweekSA. Special thanks to the San Antonio River Authority, the City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture, and Pasha Mediterranean Grill for their support of the concert.