Tag Archives: Talib Kweli


Talib Kweli Returns Home to Play Rough Trade NYC

May 19th, 2014

Talib Kweli – Rough Trade NYC – May 17, 2014

Talib Kweli – Rough Trade NYC – May 17, 2014
Talib Kweli is an MC who takes his mastering of the ceremonies very seriously. Back in Brooklyn only for Saturday afternoon, coming directly from LaGuardia and leaving out of JFK that night, Kweli treated his hometown fans to an intimate performance at Rough Trade NYC. He had everyone’s hands in the air, dancing and singling along, an impressive feat for an afternoon show, with most of the crowd sober and/or hungover. The man knows how to treat his fans and gets it back in love, no matter the time of day.

Talib Kweli is an artist with a lot to say. With nearly 20 years of music behind him, he’s always been a rapper who takes his words seriously. His Rough Trade NYC performance included a rare live rendition of “Rare Portraits,” telling everyone afterward that he usually avoids the autobiographical songs at shows in favor of the more “rah-rah, let’s party” selections. Performing his new song, “State of Grace,” about a rap fan feeling disconnected from the hip-hop she loved and grew up with, Kweli’s lyrics came out so fast and furious it was like he was racing himself to get across the song’s message.

Kweli loves talking to his audience, and he took time to discuss how he took a page from comedian Louis CK’s playbook by releasing his latest album, Gravitas, on his Web site directly to his fans, without a middleman. The MC had his own audience laughing, too. After his DJ threw down the hook for Rick James’ “Mary Jane” and Kweli realized most in the audience didn’t know it, he explained the genius of the song and how “you had to be covert with that shit” when rapping about smoking weed in the ’70s. “We got some lazy weed songs,” said Kweli, poking fun at Drake’s material and Kanye West’s “Get Em High.” The performance ended with the now-classic “Get By,” and then Kweli worked his way over to the record-store half of Rough Trade NYC to meet fans, take pictures and sign records. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Andie Diemer | issuu.com/andiediemer/docs/portfolio


Bowlive 5 Kicks Off Tomorrow Night at Brooklyn Bowl

March 12th, 2014

The soul-funk trio SouliveAlan Evans (drums), Neal Evans (Hammond B3) and Eric Krasno (guitar)—formed in the late ’90s and have been bringing their own bluesy, jammy brand of jazz, funk, classic rock and R&B to the dancing masses ever since. Krasno joined the brothers Evans for a recording session in Woodstock in 1999, which eventually became their first EP, Get Down! A host of studio albums, EPs and live discs followed, including 2010’s instrumental take on the Beatles, Rubber Soulive. But despite the trio’s recorded virtuosity, far and away the best way to experience these guys is live. Which works out great because with Bowlive 5 beginning tomorrow, you’ve got eight chances to see them in person. That’s right: Soulive (above, covering “Soul Serenade” with guests) play Brooklyn Bowl eight times between tomorrow and 3/22.

And as always, there will be special guests galore, like Nigel Hall, DJ Logic and the Shady Horns tomorrow, George Porter Jr., Nicki Bluhm, Leroy Justice and the Shady Horns on Friday, the London Souls, George Porter Jr., Nicki Bluhm and the Shady Horns on Saturday, John Scofield, Jon Cleary and the Shady Horns on 3/18, Susan Tedeschi, Joe Russo, Jon Cleary and the Shady Horns on 3/19, DMC (of Run DMC), Talib Kweli, Alan Evans Trio and the Shady Horns on 3/20Marco Benevento, Roosevelt Collier, Sonya Kitchell and the Shady Horns on 3/21, and finally Bill Evans, Wolf! featuring Scott Metzger and the Shady Horns on 3/22.


Don’t Miss This Party Tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg

December 18th, 2012

It’s that time of the year when there’s a different holiday party every night. Some have great food or serve interesting drinks. Others are in a really cool place or might even have an amazing view. But, let’s face it, the best kind of party—holiday or otherwise—is one with great music. And the killer all-star lineup at the Duck Down Music and Javotti Media Holiday Show tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg is most definitely one you shouldn’t miss. Check out this live party soundtrack: Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, Sean Price, Buckshot, Smif N Wessun, Flatbush Zombies, Skyzoo and DyMe-A-DuZin of Phony Ppl, all in one place in one night. You’d be crazy to miss it.