For years Krafty Kuts represented the great divide between one of my greatest friends and I. He had stolen my friend from the comfortable groove of the classic hip-hop and reggae that formed much of the basis for our friendship and dragged him into (What I perceived to be) the cold, ruthless clutches of electronic music. All I heard about was how great Krafty Kuts was. He stood at the gates of my aural Mordor, along with Stanton Warriors, as the guards to some terrifying hellscape, waiting to pierce me in the ears and take away my great love in life if I dared to venture too close. Also, the guy goes by Krafty Kuts. Read that three times. Think about it and realize what an easy target that is to make fun of. It's nearly impossible to discuss something you're afraid of with such a ridiculous name and not bring attention to it.
Then last summer, I ventured to Shambhala, the heart of the beast. Early in the day of Krafty's "headlining" set (It's a hard word to use at Shambhala, but based on his time slot I think it's appropriate) there was discussion amongst some of the group that Krafty had spent too much time trying new things. They missed the old Krafty. It's understandable and I thought nothing of it. Then the show came and as I looked upon Krafty Kuts, in all his epileptic-seizure glory, from my high-rise perch in the middle of Fractal, I realized that I was enjoying the fuck out this set. I don't remember much specifically from the set, but I do remember it being a serious booty-shaking event and that my friend, the Krafty expert, deemed the set at least Somewhat Glorious. The next morning talk from group was in vein of "Krafty is jumping on trends now. He should stick to what he does best and not worry about that stuff." Well, which is fuckers?! Do you want old Krafty, the one you claimed to be tired of, or the do you want new Krafty, which is new and different from what you love and will not be comfortable all the time? But you can't condemn the guy both ways! That's non sense! I found myself doing feverish mental workouts trying to defend a guy I'd spent years mercilessly taunting - albeit completely unfairly, with no knowledge of what he actually did.
As I've spent much time since that festival digging through Soundcloud, mixcloud and whatever other clouds allow me to listen to the work of DJs and have kept somewhat of an eye on the Krafty one's goings-on, waiting for that moment when I, a man without the credibility I have in talking about other genres of music, could announce that Krafty truly is one of the Kings of the DJ world. The moment with the supposed Dead would RISE AGAIN. And by fucking God, here it is. In all its glory, WICKED CITY. (When do we get an all-Kanye remix set, Krafty? KRAFTYE. Come on, it's waiting for you, brah.)
Holy shit this Wicked City mix is a burner. It's relentlessly groovy. It's chemically classic and future-funked out of its head. It's an old school guy driving its students to the new school, a school that he runs. It's a spit in the face of everyone who doubted the Master. The Phoenix rises from the ashes to obliterate all those naysayers who doubted his power. He is the Rajah of Rump-Shaking, the Dance-floor Despot...He is KING KRAFTY KUTS.
And just because I like this track too, here it is for your listening pleasure.