Friday, 12 June 2009

The Talib Kweli Experience Pt 1

Posted by Tahirah

Last night, following L-Berforce and I's show on BANG Radio, which is every Thursday night 9-10pm GMT (4-5pm EST), we shot out of the studio to meet Blaze Oh My Dayz (you know, that geezer who grows footwear in his garden) to make our way down to YoYo.

Before I get into that, let me just mention our guest last night was Swiss of So Solid who came in to talk about his book Spot The Difference. My brain was functioning at a capacity of minus-a-zillion so I had an innate inability to articulate myself but regardless he was a GREAT guest; very enlightened and socially conscious brother who is trying to share it with the world.

You need to buy the book - I likened it to a self-help/guidance book for young people. You can pick it up HERE.

Anyway, this week at YOYO Pharrell's signing Chester French were due to perform and I was keen to see them so I decided I was going down from the start of the week but they got cancelled - somehow I forgot quickly about them when the news that hip-hop legend TALIB KWELI would be DJing.
Fast FWD to near midnight, Talib steps in the place, Seb Chew and Leo Greenslade are warming it up nicely; playing everything from hip-hop to old skool UKG. The vibe was good - for those who don't know YoYo, Notting Hill Arts club is a basement with cement floor that can barely squeeze in more than 300 people and where there is zero-dress code. The YoYo crowd used to be a lot more exclusive; now many times YoYo seems to just be used as an industry showcase event but the party was as real as ever last night.

Talib stepped into the DJ booth; I was dancing on the stage next to the booth so I could see one of hip-hop's nicest lyracists step on the ones-and-twos. The way the set started, I thought I'd be coming home to blog, "well, the game's best lyracist can't be expected to be the game's best DJ I guess," and leave it at that.

But my review is taking a different turn because soon enough, he got into the swing of things. While he didn't possess the best technique, his tune selection was NICE; throwing on some classic Biggie, Pharoah Monche, Big Pun, other hip-hop heavies, some new tunes, from Drake to Wayne AND some UK funky house, then some 80's soul (he played Candy by Cameo so everyone was doing that damn dance on the stage...I joined in for about 5 seconds before giving up) and some other random stuff. De La Soul's Maseo was the hype man, so real hip-hop was definitely in the building! Maseo reminded us, "you are now part of the Talib Kweli Experience!"

But the highlight of his set was when he played the first few chords of Jamie Foxx's BLAME IT, then PULLED IT OFF and put on hip-hop's self-proclaimed omni-potent yoda Jay-Z's DEATH OF AUTOTUNE (I haven't posted my opinion on that yet; soon come)...the place went MAD. Mad I tell you. Even I went mad, dammit!

We partied until the lights came on, I gave Mr Kweli a simple handshake - no words were needed. Blaze is coming up with the pictures on pt 2.