SUNDAY 01/17/16 – NEW YORK, NEW YORK
A Musical Celebration of the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hosted by Talib Kweli
I was blessed to be apart of a great event that was meant to celebrate the great warrior of peace Martin Luther King Jr. the night before MLK Day. The event took place at the Sound of Brazil restaurant, which is affectionately known as SOB’s. A small yet spacious area right on the corner of Varick and W Houston Street, SOB’s hosts many musical events, this particular event hosted by Brooklyn legend Talib Kweli, celebrates the life and legacy of the brave freedom fighter.
(I did not see singer Yummy Bingham at the performance so I won’t speak on her).
The show started with an impressive group of artists that the casual listener might not know and I do not shun the ignorant, so I will inform you.
The artist that performed first was producer, rhymer, professional educator and Harlem native Chaz Van Queen of Chazmere, who is affiliated with Kweli’s ‘Colours of the Culture’ conglomerate. After Chaz’s performance was rapper, professor, film-maker and best-selling author M.K. Asante who also threw his book to (at) me and I dropped it. Having read his best-selling book Buck: A Memoir, the book and it’s author M.K. are deserving of it’s praise (wait for the review).
Succeeding him was rapper and poet Miss K’ Valentine, also connected to C.O.T.C, brought the positivity all the way from Chicago, a city she refuses to succumb to. Spoken word poet and Apollo Theatre legend jessica Care moore preceded the host Talib Kweli but not before performing a couple of songs that she and Kweli made from her debut album Black Tea: The Legend of Jesse James. A legendary figure herself, jessica Care moore competed in and won the “Showtime at the Apollo” contest an astounding five times in a row for her spoken word poetry, five being the record at the “Apollo” contest. On top of that she is a published author and had recently released the album Black Tea. They all deserve to be known as more than just ‘openers’ for Talib Kweli, so I wouldn’t pass by them without a few words.
As for the final act, I would hope that I wouldn’t need to explain to anybody who one of the greatest lyricists of our time, 50% of the duo Blackstar and host of the evening Talib Kweli is, but for those that don’t know look it up. All I will say is that he did a great job not only as he performed on-stage to end the night but as host, bringing together great artists for a great night celebrating the legacy of and giving knowledge about the beloved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Talib would speak to the crowd either about artists or to keep the energy high most of the night in between the sets, but he also spoke about a man that many in the crowd had only heard about on the man who with his actions and words made such a profound impact on America as a growing country that his day of remembrance was declared a federal holiday. It is fitting to have hip hop and spoken word artists perform on a night to honor a legendary man who shook the world using his words, not his hands.
** Recommended tracks: Talib Kweli – “The Blast” / jessica Care moore – “Catch Me If You Can”