DJ SANDMAN'S "I AM HIP HOP" Birthday Party w/ Appearances by Talib Kweli, Dynasty, Jinx, The Villanz
1812 17th St. N
Tampa, FL, 33605
Doors 9:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
Talib Kweli's new album "Gravitas" In Stores Now! Purchase online at: kweliclub.com
The Brooklyn-based rapper earned his stripes as one of the most lyrically-gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years. His travels around the globe as one of rap's most in-demand performers combined with his conversations with political activists and his genre-straddling work with Idle Warship and others caused Kweli to realize that he was limited in a sense, a prisoner of sorts of his own success as one of the world's best rappers with something significant to say.
"My music has been associated with those types of causes, with positivity, spirituality, intelligence and being thought-provoking and such," he says. "I think sometimes people get caught up in that part of me as an artist and don't necessarily understand the musicality or fully appreciate the music and the entertainment value behind what I do. I tried to stretch my wings a little bit and bring something that was less beholden to the world of hip-hop and more existing in the world in general."
The result of this artistic growth and exploration arrives with Kweli's dynamic Prisoner Of Conscious AKA P.O.C., an artistic tour de force that signals the start of the next chapter of Kweli's remarkable career. The BK MC spent more time working on Prisoner Of Conscious than any of his other albums, a three-year journey that found him exploring new vibes, joining in some unlikely collaborations and taking him to foreign lands.
Produced by Symbolyc One (Kanye West, Ghostface), the title track's alternatively rap and rock-based beat provides a distinctive platform for Kweli to deliver rhymes that detail his artistic awakening, while producers Sean C & LV (Jay-Z, Raekwon) created a Marvin Gaye-esque vibe for "Come," a cut featuring Miguel that showcases Kweli trying to convince a series of women to do things his way.
Then there's the dramatic, piano-driven "Before He Walked," which showcases passionate vocals from singer Abby Dobson and includes a verse from possibly the most noteworthy guest on Prisoner Of Conscious: Nelly. Both Kweli and The St. Louis rapper recount the importance music has had in their lives on the stirring song, which was an outgrowth of conversations about music and life Kweli and Nelly had at Kweli's Los Angeles residence.
"Nelly is somebody I've known and have been friendly with throughout the years in this business," Kweli says. "Nelly has always been an example for me because a rising tide raises all boats. Nelly is an artist who is polarizing at times because of the 'Tip Drill' video to the boycotts he's endured at colleges, but I know him as a person, and he's a great person."
Elsewhere, the driving "Ready Set Go" with singer Melanie Fiona features Kweli's ever-impressive clever verbal gymnastics, which are also on display on the stark Busta Rhymes-guested and RZA-produced "Rocketships."
Kweli shifts gears on "Favela Love." Inspired by and created during a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil, the breezy song features crooning from Brazilian singer and actor Seu George (City Of God, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). Kweli and George met in the studio, leading Kweli to deviate from his original concept for the song.
"The song went from being about a woman to be being about Brazil, about the favela, about loving to come there," he reveals. "The woman is really a metaphor for the place. That's why it's called 'Favela Love.' When I was telling Seu George about that, he started singing about how much he loves Brazil and where Brazil fits in the world."
AFTER NEARLY 20 YEARS OF RELEASING MESMERIZING MUSIC, TALIB KWELI STANDS AS ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST TALENTED AND MOST ACCOMPLISHED RAPPERS.
Whether working with Mos Def as one-half of Black Star, partnering with producer Hi-Tek for Reflection Eternal, releasing landmark solo material or collaborating with Kanye West or Madlib, Kweli commands attention by delivering top-tier lyricism, crafting captivating stories and showing the ability to rhyme over virtually any type of beat.
In particular, Kweli showed his artistic reach in Idle Warship. Teaming with longtime collaborator and acclaimed singer Res, Kweli began getting out of his sonic and creative comfort zone on the group's 2009 mixtape Party Robot and its debut album, 2011's Habits Of The Heart.
Idle Warship's music challenged Kweli and led him to a new artistic space. "I like the position I'm in," he says. "I feel like I'm a connector, a leader. I feel like I've led by example and I want to continue to do that. I like the fact that I'm in a position where cats who are coming out and making music that I enjoy are interested in my music and are interested in my influence. It's a great feeling."
Kweli also has the high-powered Attack The Block mixtape with DJ Z-Trip set to arrive and will be focusing on making his Javotti Media (which released his 2011 album, Gutter Rainbows, and is named after his paternal grandmother) into a media powerhouse that releases music, films and books.
But for now, Prisoner Of Conscious arrives as an artistic triumph, a collection that embodies Talib Kweli's robust creative vision. "I wanted to put out an album that really can support the artist that I've become," he says. "I'm a touring artist. I'm an artist that's internationally known. I'm not just a local artist at this point in my career. I'm cognizant of the fact that what I do is beyond where it started. I'm trying to reach the apex of where I am now, but without turning my back on or dismissing what I've done before."
Stepping on the stage, often in heels, with her petite frame and a big bright smile that can light up the room, she charms them. Then, a banging beat drops and she totally transforms….
Queens-bred hip-hop/soul artist, Dynasty, has the soul of a dreamer and the fearless determination to follow that dream wherever it might lead. D.Y. has lit up stages opening for Erykah Badu, The Wu-Tang Clan, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and more. She amazes and captivates crowds. Her performance on records and on the stage truly sets her apart.
Never caught up in writing "formula rap" as she calls it, Dynasty writes from the heart and at the same time, remains a beast on the mic. She has surely made a name for herself, turning heads all over the world. In fact, the legendary DJ Premier gave her the ultimate cosign by producing a song for her. "Epic Dynasty" was placed on his compilation album, Get Used to Us. He even appears alongside D.Y. in the video for the song. Dynasty set off 2013 with a career high, releasing a song and video with one of her favorite artists, world renowned Talib Kweli, Stay Shinin'.
All of these things considered, one of her most favorite things is performing for and working with youth. She frequently visits juvenile detention centers and other programs to speak with teens about following their dreams. One can certainly see that in 2013, the DREAMPUSHER that we know as Ya Girl D.Y. is reaching the heights that she envisioned as a kid. With a seven-city Dreampusher Tour in Germany, followed by an album release, an East Coast tour (US) and another European tour at the end of the year…there is absolutely no denying this star.
Dynasty's passion transcends the stage. There is no "set demographic" for D.Y., no gimmick, no crafted agenda aside from making beautiful music. Her mass appeal transcends all boundaries. Rightfully so, soul music touches the world
"Inside there's a flame that is untamed/ I stand strong in the rain, I am unchanged/ til the earth takes me in & I'm reclaimed/ when the sound stops still make the ground hot.. and I don't do it for the fame/ I got nothin' to lose but have everything to gain/ and when its all said and done..I will remain, pushin' my dream forever your girl, D.Y. remember the name.." – Dynasty.