If skills sold, Talib Kweli would have been one of the most commercially successful rappers of his time. As it was, however, the earnest MC became one of the most critically successful rappers of his time, which dawned in the late '90s when he rapped alongside Mos Def and DJ Hi-Tek as part of the group Black Star. This trio of up-and-comers and their widely acclaimed self-titled 1998 album debut, Black Star, helped make Rawkus Records one of the premier underground rap outposts of the late '90s. Kweli and Hi-Tek then collaborated as a duo on Reflection Eternal (2000), which firmly established them apart from Mos Def, who had gone solo. For a moment there, Kweli and his Rawkus associates seemed like a full-fledged movement — a return to the sort of hip-hop associated with the so-called golden age. However, it wasn't to be. Rawkus somehow lost its momentum, and its roster sadly dispersed, leaving Kweli on his own to carry the torch. He continued his output, beginning with a proper solo debut, Quality (2002), and though he didn't rack up towering sales numbers, he remained a critical favorite. In fact, he was one of the most admired and respected rappers on the major-label circuit during the mid-2000s, best evidenced by Jay-Z's famous Black Album rhyme: "If skills sold, truth be told/I'd probably be, lyrically, Talib Kweli."
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.
Where's the Party?Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
2637 Welton Street, Denver, Colorado 80205
- Talib Kweli
- Big K.R.I.T.
- The Food Chain
- Alex Chadwick
- Party Guru Productions
- Native Roots
- Euphonic Conceptions