August 27, 2006
Talib Kweli Puts on a Show
Note: Most of the links in this post go to pages with auto-playing soundtracks. Turn down your speakers if you're at work, etc.
On Saturday, Talib Kweli performed for free at City Hall Park as part of the J&R Music Festival.
Talib has the potential to be one of the best MCs ever, so his name alone was enough to get me down there, but his long-time friend and collaborator, Jean Grae, was slated to appear, too, which turned this into a don't-miss event.
What made the show really remarkable, though, was the slew of unannounced guests who took the stage. The special appearances began with DJ Hi-Tek (Talib's collaborator on the excellent Reflection Eternal project), continued with the Phil Da Agony, Ras Kass, and some other underground stars, but then got crazy when Will.i.am and Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas took the stage. Will.i.am let loose with an extended freestyle, supplying his own reverb effects while Taboo stared at us menacingly [video]. But even B.E.P. had to step aside for the final guest, Common, whose arrival in his trademark earth tones and green slouch cap spontaneously taught the underground hip-hop heads in the crowd to be multi-orgasmic. Thank God Mos Def didn't show up...people would have started engaging in carnal acts with each other right there.
I took a bunch of pictures and shot some murky video, so if you're interested...
Here's a video slideshow. (The backing track is "Eternalists", from Kweli and Hi-Tek's Reflection Eternal.)
Here's some other stuff:
- The still photos from the slideshow above.
- Videos of Jean Grae, Talib Kweli, and the Will.i.am freestyle. Includes excerpts from a bunch of performances and a higher res version of the slideshow. [Quicktime. Give them all a minute to download before they start playing.] [archive.org mirror]
- Photos by other audience members at Flickr
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