Hip-Hop Harambee with Talib Kweli
Talib Kweli (w/ Live Band), SIMS of Doomtree, Big Zach of Kanser & More than Lights, Manny Phesto & Axel Foley, Bomba Umoya, Audio Perm, Grittee Committee, Mankwe, Haphdunz, Sean Anonymous, Duenday, META, Mike the Martyr, Up Rock, and special guests
501 Cedar Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN, 55454
Doors 2:00PM / Show 2:00PM (event ends at 9:00 pm)
This event is 18 and over
Talib Kweli (w/ Live Band)
Ever since emerging as a member of Black Star in the late 1990s, Talib Kweli is one of the few artists making commercially viable music that matters. The Brooklyn bred rapper's hard-hitting music has been able to educate and entertain simultaneously. So it is no wonder that at the peak of their fame, both Jay-Z and 50 Cent named Talib Kweli as one of their favorite rappers.
With Ear Drum, his first album released on his own Blacksmith Music and his sixth album overall, Kweli has delivered his career-defining work, a polished collection showcasing his advanced lyricism and his penchant for picking music that resonates long after the song ends. "The image of the ear and of the drum are powerful enough by themselves, but when you put them together, it's an instrument that's in your body that helps you hear," he explains. "They're also two very simple, yet powerful words. I wanted to focus on finding a sound that makes you move, and that's where the word 'Ear Drum' popped in my head."
Throughout Ear Drum, Kweli delivers powerful music that sparks your intellect and makes your body move. He teams with Reflection Eternal partner Hi-Tek on "More Or Less." Over pounding drums and a minimalistic groove, Kweli makes brash declarations on how to improve music specifically and American society in general. "A statement like, we need 'more rap songs that stress purpose/With less misogyny and less curses/Let's put more depth in our verses,' I haven't made bold, blatant statements since that like 'Manifesto.' There are fans of mine that really appreciate those statements because there are times when those statements need to be made."
An equally bold Ear Drum moment comes on "Country Cousins," which features Kweli trading verses with UGK and Raheem DeVaughn. Over a soulful beat accented by brassy horns, Kweli, Bun B and Pimp C talk about the reality of their experiences growing up in New York and Texas, respectively. "People have the perception of what an East Coast artist sounds like, who he's supposed to be listening to and what he likes, and what a Down South artist sounds like," Kweli explains. "There's preconceived notions and that's really what the song with Bun and Pimp C is about, the preconceived notions between East Coast artists and Down South artists."
Throughout Ear Drum, Kweli makes a point to explore new topics, collaborate with a variety of artists and rap over distinctively innovative production. It is part of Kweli's growth as an artist and as a person. "We need to challenge our audience but we also need to challenge ourselves to know that whatever our new experiences are, we can write about them, be creative and bring that to an audience without them feeling alienated," he says.
Long-time Talib Kweli followers will say the same thing about him. Since his stellar debut with Mos Def as Black Star, Kweli has been one of rap's most exceptional and consistent artists. Released in 2000, Reflection Eternal, the RIAA-certified gold album with Hi-Tek, was one of the most acclaimed albums of the year. In 2002, smash single "Get By," the biting political commentary "The Proud" and the insightful examination of America's gun culture on "Gun Music" made Quality a landmark recording and Kweli's second gold album. Subsequent recordings in 2004 (The Beautiful Struggle) and 2005 (Right About Now) solidified his status as one of rap's most talented and important voices.
Now, after establishing himself as a rap visionary, Kweli along with long-time manager Corey Smyth launched Blacksmith Music. The pair signed an exclusive deal with Warner Bros. to market, promote, and distribute the music of Blacksmith artists. Following Kweli's release on Blacksmith/WBR there will be a new solo album from Jean Grae, the critically acclaimed South African-born female rapper who is among the most respected female rappers in the history of the genre. Rolling Stone called her "the best kept secret on New York&..39;s indie hip-hop scene," while XXL, Spin, Village Voice, URB and others have labeled her an artist to watch. Strong Arm Steady, a forthcoming Blacksmith/WBR release, is a super group whose members are platinum rapper and Pimp My Ride host Xzibit, Los Angeles underground star Phil The Agony, lyrical assassin Krondon and San Diego rap pioneer Mitchy Slick. Strong Arm Steady has been one of the few West Coast acts to build a rabid fanbase through mixtapes.
Kweli hopes Blacksmith will create a movement with Jean Grae and Strong Arm Steady, much as his own music has. "With Blacksmith, I want it to be a flag that everyone can wave," he says. "I want to be packing shows and I want people to feel like they were up on Jean Grae and Strong Arm Steady before anybody else was."
In the mean time, the lyrically and sonically potent Ear Drum demonstrates that strong, powerful messages can serve as the backbone for music at its best. "The vast majority of my subject matter focuses on black self-love, black self esteem, black self worth," Kweli says. "That translates to other communities because if you're a human being, it doesn't matter what color you're talking about. You've been through some sort of struggle and you can apply it to your own life."
SIMS of Doomtree
Restless and passionate but with an unflinching realism at his core, Sims has seen enough of life to know there are no easy answers. His second full-length release, Bad Time Zoo, out February 15th on Doomtree Records, reflects this rapper's ongoing quest for solid understanding in a society on the brink of dystopia. For Sims, it's been a long road.
Andrew Sims grew up in the working-class Minneapolis suburb of Hopkins, Minnesota. He found solace in rap and R&B music, nurturing a love for mainstream hits as well as then-underground artists such as the Wu-Tang Clan. His parents didn't approve of his new love, however, so he built a secret stash of cassette mixtapes that he traded to kids at school. He soon found a gift for rhyme and begin channeling his aggression into feisty, kinetic wordplay.
Audio Perm is a group of hip hop producers from Minneapolis, MN. The group is made up of Taylor Madrigal, Julian Fairbanks, and Cory Grindberg. Audio Perm produces hip hop beats, with each producer bringing their own individual style and flavor to the group. The crew met through their involvement in the Hope Comminuty Program, instructed by local rappers/producers Big Quarters and I Self Devine. The group has since released two instrumental "beat tapes" (Audio Perm Beat Tape (2009) & Audio Perm In Full Effect (2010)), one compilation, started a successful weekly online series (Permed Out Wednesdays), organized their own block party (Audio Perm Block Party), as well as frequent local performances, with their dedicated crew of collaborating emcees.
The Audio Perm crew is in the beginning phases of putting together their next instrumental project. The album, which has yet to be titled, will be the culmination of two years of honing their production skills, and truly realizing their style. The release will feature more collaboration between the crew members than previous recordings, as well as more fully hashed out instrumentals. Previous releases focused on showcasing as many of the groups compositions as possible, while still being cohesive, this release will be more of an instrumental album of sorts. In the time leading up to the release of their next record, Audio Perm will be performing regularly, both locally and around the U.S., in efforts to promote their unique approach to hip hop production, and their collaborations with its core group of emcees.
Audio Perm is more than just a crew of cats who make dope beats. Audio Perm makes its mark on the scene in many different ways. Cory Grindberg is an accomplished jazz bassist, and is currently enrolled at Northwestern University's Jazz Studies program. Julian Fairbanks is also a visual artist, working on getting his degree at the Minneapolis Center for Art and Design. Taylor Madrigal handles the business side of things for Audio Perm, organizing shows, preparing releases, and handling all the day to day management duties. Taylor and Julian handle DJ duties, and Cory triggers synth beats with a midi keyboard during live performances.
Audio Perm has been making a considerable amount of noise in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The group has worked hard to make sure that theirsuccess would be on their own terms, and that they would make thier mark without adhering to traditional music business politics. Audio Perm has been featured on local radio stations including The Current, KFAI, Radio K, and Jazz 88. Their weekly series of releases "Permed Out Wednesdays" have recently surpassed 10,000 plays, and music videos are being shot for two of the songs. In August 2011, the crew headlined and organized their own outdoor music event, called the "Audio Perm Block Party", performing alongside Universal Recording artists Pac Div, as well as other nationally recognized rappers such as Toki Wright and I Self Devine. The group performed to a sold out crowd for the release party for their first physical offering "Audio Perm In Full Effect', at the now defunct Eclipse Records.
Since the inception of Audio Perm in 2009, the group has spawned two side projects. Biter Fighters, a collaboration between Taylor Madrigal and Fresh Squeeze emcee Scoundrel Spence, who are also gearing up to release their debut LP in the summer of 2012. Art School Girls is a group made up of Julian Fairbanks, Cory Grindberg, and rapper Chantz Erolin. The group is gearing up to release their first project sometime in 2012. The group is also gaining notoriety for their outside production, working on beats for acts such as P.O.S., Prof, I Self Devine Mike Mictlan, Bobby Raps, and Illuminous 3.
Audio Perm is a group that produces, records, promotes, and performs their music. Audio Perm is in Full Effect…
"Freshness was brought when Meta took over and the writing took a critical turn, through critiques of the state of hip-hop and introspective storytelling. Meta's confident flow and irascible charm echoed Common, a rapper he listed in a rundown of worthwhile MCs. The song "Keep Movin," chronicled an abusive home life and fear in the neighborhoods, and was further buoyed by a driven chorus - a welcome reminder that not all good home-grown hip hop need come from Rhymesayers or Doomtree to be honest and engaging." --- Carl Atiya Swanson, www.howwastheshow.com