Talib Kweli is, without question, one of hip hop’s greatest ambassadors. His music has a message of social justice and peace, he’s constantly collaborating with up and coming talent, and he has the talent of the best MC’s minus the arrogance. His shows are always a good time because they’re less about him and more about the love of music.
Last night at Metro in Chicago he played his now famous version of Eleanor Rigby and talked up the greatness of Paul McCartney, paid homage to Sean Price and J Dilla, brought out GLC to do “Drive Slow” and Niko Is for a couple songs, and talked about his good friend Kanye. This last bit was my favorite moment of the show.
Always one to speak his mind, Kweli said that he loves Kanye. Kanye’s given him a lot in his career with producing and features, so Kanye helped him provide for his family. But, Kweli said, when you stand next to Donald Trump, something’s wrong. He said the same of Steve Harvey before making a plea for unity and calling on the audience to do everything they can to stop the racist regime from ending our democracy.
With the help of DJ Spintelect, we traveled through the history that Talib Kweli has helped create. From Black Star to his more recent collaborations, including some of the latest Javotti signees K’Valentine and Space Invadaz. He sent some love to Bob Marley and the reggae pioneers that inspired the beginnings of hip hop. If you’ve been to a Kweli show, you know that there aren’t a lot of songs played all the way through to completion. It’s more about the feeling, so it bounces around as a medley of songs that all come together to tell his story.