Talib Kweli delivers knockout performance at the Beta Bar

Noted as one the most skilled and respected lyricists of our time, Talib Kweli shut the Beta Bar down October 20th. This sold-out event was highly anticipated by students of TCC, FAMU, FSU and fans throughout the Tallahassee area. Admirers flooded the sidewalk of Wahnish Way just to get a glimpse and hear an earful from one of the best MCs in the industry.

Hip-hop music lovers alike filed into the club while the D.J. spun records of classic artists like Tribe Called Quest and Common.

Sol-illaquists of Sound, an Orlando based group, opened the show with an interesting and unconventional sound. This two men act and two women took the crowd by surprise with their fast rapping, soulful singing and hype beats coming from two Akai MPC 2000 XLs, also known as electric beat machines.

Divinci, the beat master and producer; Tonya Combs, a lyricist and vocalist; Swamburger , anotherlyricist and his wife, lead vocalist Alexandrah expressed their social views with explosive, high energy that lasted throughout their entire act.

“We’re not musicians, we’re revolutionaries,” yelled Swamburger as he performed.

The group labels their music FAHEEM, which stands for Free Astral Hip-Hop Extraterrestrially Energized Message and their mission is to help return hip-hop to its truest form.

“Our message is of self-awareness. Love yourself. Don’t work a job you hate. Be aware of who you are and what you can give to the community,” said Tonya Combs.

Some viewers, said their message was loud and clear.

“I think they came to the stage with a political plot and they got their point across. And homeboy’s wife has a voice,” said Jessika Lawrence, a 27 year old FSU student in the doctoral program for Communication Disorders.

Sol-illaquists of Sound left the crowd riled up and ready for the main event.

The audience went wild as Talib Kweli walked on stage rapping “Going Hard,” the first track on his latest album, The Beautiful Struggle.

He stepped before the crowd on a mission, “to have as much fun as possible,” he said.

He wasn’t the only one having fun. His love for performing and people resonated through the crowd of fans who had their hands in the air rapping along with him. With past hits from the Black Star album, Reflection Eternal and Quality, Talib had the whole club shaking.

Tracks like “Get Em High,” “Too Late,” “Just To Get By” and more classics were exactly what long time fans were waiting for.

Talib recruited some live entertainment from the audience during his song, “We Got The Beat.” He called for b-boys and b-girls to come up on stage to showcase their break-dancing skills for everyone to see. Four audience members lit the stage up with crazy moves, spins and head-stands.

Audience participation was at an all-time high with “The Blast.” “Say my name, say my name…” “Kweli” resounded from his fans. The crowd couldn’t get enough of this action-packed performance. And Talib wasn’t slowing down. He performed “I Try” from his latest album and “Move Somethin'” from Reflection Eternal. The crowd pleasing Talib tried to leave but after screams of encore, he ran back on stage and finished the show with three more tracks, one of which was “The Lonely People” from The Beautiful Mix CD.

Talib Kweli blew his fans away with his heavy, thought-provoking lyrical content and intense, body-moving beats. But nothing less can be expected of this hip-hop star.

Hot but satisfied, Talib’s devotees left with positive messages after a phenomenal performance. The crowd received an amazing show that hip-hop heads will be talking about for a long time.

Grade: A

Contact Samantha Luck at sluck03@yahoo.com