[RECAP] Talib Kweli w/ Special Guest J-LIVE & DJs K-Salaam And DJ Madsol-Desar At Brooklyn Bowl 2.1.11I’ve got to tell you, being my first show at Brooklyn Bowl I was definitely a little thrown off when I realized that this venue was in fact, a bowling alley. I was not expecting to see tons of people rolling balls down lanes next to a Hip-Hop stage, but none the less, it added to the atmosphere. A pre-show mashup by DJ K’Salaam was in effect when I arrived and and Mad Sol Desar was up next on the 1s and 2s and together they kicked the night off just right.
J-Live was the first emcee to hit the stage and this was my first opportunity to see him get down. I was definitely impressed when he broke out with an acapella breakdown and started flowing as rapidly as Krayzie Bone or Twista. I could possibly be giving him a little too much credit but he sure had everyone in the crowd saying “if it happened to him, it could happen to you” together in unison and it was actually an almost beautiful experience to be a part of. His new album, S.P.T.A. is set to be released on April 5, and he performed some new music from the album that’s produced by Diamond D.
The main emcee quickly lost the latter three accessories as all of Blackstar’s poppers, breakers, writers and exciters were sure ready to get it live, and I think some of us (me) were even getting a little antsy at a point. But after a short period of technical difficulties, Kweli came out with his full band ready to jam and we quickly forgot that there was ever a period of silence.
Kweli brought everything old and new, the gems of course being from his album Revolutions Per Minute and Blackstar’s track Re:Definition which he always knows will get his crowd involved (needless to say never the same without Mos) and several new tracks from his self-released Gutter Rainbows. Fans kept up with his rhymes and sang aloud to every word, even the new tracks. That was until he broke into lightning speed, freight train rapping no average man (or metronome, for that matter) could keep up with on “Strangers (Paranoid)” from Revolutions Per Minute which was dedicated to the late and great Pimp C. Feet levitated over the bass induced thumping floor as hundreds of arms swayed and heads bobbed under Talib’s continued prompts of “hands up, hands up, hands up”. Kendra Ross, a 17 year Brooklynite then came to the stage and they did their track “Wait For You” from the new album which has some positive, feel good vibes to it.
“What are you doing with your life your time on earth is sacred / The time you spend at your plantation is it worth the paper”
These days, no Hip-Hop show ends without a J Dilla tribute and when we heard the beat to “Look of Love” start up, we knew we were in for a nice little “JD Snack”, as I like to call it. Everyone chanting “you know what love is!” was hands down, my favorite moment of the show and right into “Hot Thing” was an immaculate transition. The crowd was a melting pot of Hip-Hop patrons, as if Talib’s socially conscious words and fresh, versatile beats stretched across cultural lines bringing everyone together to partake in a Hip-Hop musical movement.
Bottom line is, it’s never a bad idea to spend your Tuesday night at a bowling alley with Talib Kweli and friends.
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