Because instead of doing the responsible thing and staying home last night, I went and did this:
Talib Kweli is an unbelievably skilled emcee, and when I saw he was coming to Vancouver I thought there must surely be a mistake. My reflexive skeptical cynicism notwithstanding, I bought a ticket and went to Yaletown to check out the show. The first opening act, a local outfit called KIDS, was unbelievable – lots of energy, great stage presence, culminating in a finale spit partially in English, partially in Farsi. Definitely planning on checking them out again. The other openers… I won’t waste time identifying them – they were mediocre.
Kweli was, of course, amazing. In the seminal and timeless cut “Eric B. is President”, Rakim lays down a manifesto for all those who would try to bless the mic in the coming years: “to me, MC means ‘move the crowd’.” Kweli didn’t shy away from this challenge at all – a previously lukewarm crowd was whipped into a frenzy so hot that the rafters actually started sweating. Vancouver’s hip-hop scene is pretty weak (hence my surprise that Kweli was here), but clearly there are some true school fans there that night.
So… I’m tired as hell (the show started mega-late), and there is no post this morning. Instead, enjoy some words from the heir to Gil Scott Heron‘s throne as a lyrical street poet:
And, if you aren’t really familiar with Kweli (or hip-hop music in general), find some headphones and a quiet place to sit and listen to one of the single greatest contributions ever made to hip-hop music and the world:
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