Talib Kweli & Big K.R.I.T. w/ The Foodchain, Alex Chadwick, BMBC and Cameron Cannon & The Dirty Vandal Clique

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."

It is rare to find an artist who has both age and wisdom on his side. At just 24 years-old, Big K.R.I.T. possesses the musical intuition of an old soul. Hailing from Meridian, Mississippi, K.R.I.T. (born Justin Scott) grew up listening to early rhythm and blues records in his Grandmother’s house and later went on to discover songs by revered soul artists like Curtis Mayfield, Willie Hutch and Bobby Womack. It’s easy to detect these artists and rap legends who have influenced the young MC like 8Ball & MJG, UGK, Scarface and OutKast in K.R.I.T.’s own music which masterfully resurrects the rich heritage of Southern hip-hop in the 1990’s.

The Foodchain

Denver based collective The Foodchain releases their 'Corpses' project
internationally/digitally through Showoff Digital in 2010. After hearing the project, Showoff CEO DJ Statik
Selektah was so impressed by the album that he inquired about its
label home. After a trip to NYC that included rocking with Talib
Kweli, 1982, Artifacts, & more, the deal was signed.

The group's 'Corpses' features Talib Kweli, Little Brother, Joe Scudda
and Chaundon. Appropriately dubbed "The Foodchain", this Denver based
live hip-hop collective is comprised of 4 MC's, 2 producers, a DJ and
a drummer.

With Foodchain's 'Corpses' the group vows to make music true to the
heart first, focusing on issues political to social and every point in
between. There are street driven records like Fucc N*ggaz featuring
Talib Kweli, as well as more radio friendly records like Rich Girl
Song featuring Rapper Big Pooh of Little Brother. Politically driven
records like Drama Class and Blind balance 'Corpses' as a well
rounded, inspiring, and powerful project that will be sure to last the
tests of time.

Much like life's circle will live on until time's end… "The Foodchain"
proudly brandishes their love of hip hop as more than a form of
artistic expression or source if income… They see it as a chance to
move the masses.

Alex Chadwick

Hip Hop isn't dead, it's just underground. The long awaited mixtape by Alex Chadwick is a perfect example of what happens when a talented hip hop artist with a passion for music records 18 of the most memorable tracks to ever be released by an independent artist . IJustWannaRap is Chadwick's first highly publicized recording since his debut as part of the 3rd Brillyance rap group signed under Rawkus Records in 2007 under the "Rawkus 50" campaign.
Alex Chadwick (who goes by his first and middle name) was born in Baton Rouge , Louisiana in 1983 where he grew up on artists like Master P, The Hot Boys, UGK, Eightball & MJG, just to name a few. Although being influenced by this kind of rap, listeners would describe his sound as east coast, underground or backpack. He started rapping at the tender age of 9 when he and his friends rhymed over beats played on drum sets made of buckets. His musical talent is evident in his mastery of his lyrical abilities, the bass guitar and piano.


The group 3rd Brillyance was formed in Germany in 2006 by members Alex Chadwick and Madd Astronoma. The producer/MC duo met through a mutual friend and after low expectations of each others' music, was blown away on the first listen and instantly knew they needed to work together. This chemistry is part of what made their music so significant. After combining their styles and making music for nearly a year, a competition revealed by Rawkus Records caught 3rd Brillyances' attention. In February 2007 Rawkus announced the "Rawkus 50" competition where 50 independent rap artists would be chosen to release an album on Rawkus and given the opportunity to take their career from rapping on the corner to being supported by one of Hip Hops most trusted brands. 3rd Brillyance was one of the selected and their debut album "Grass Roots" was released in 2007 and they embarked on an international tour which included stops in Japan and Germany.


Although music is in his heart, Chadwick chose to pursue a career in the U.S Air Force and is currently serving our country in the Middle East. Despite his currently deployment, Alex Chadwick's solo mixtape project "IJustWannaRap" was released under 3rd Brylliance Music Group on November 4th, 2011. Hip Hop lovers can download the free mixtape by visiting http://alexchadwick.bandcamp.com/ and can follow 3rd Brillyance on Twitter @3rdbrillyance.

$25 Day Of Show

Tickets Available at the Door

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Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom

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Talib Kweli & Big K.R.I.T. w/ The Foodchain, Alex Chadwick, BMBC and Cameron Cannon & The Dirty Vandal Clique

Sunday, October 27 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom

Tickets Available at the Door