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HipHop is not dead and neither is Talib Kweli: The maturity of HipHop


Photography By: Richard Zulu Shabazz

I heard the songs, I saw the live performances and the videos and now I was staring right at him down the barrel of my Ds80 on stage with the truth. It was the perfect event for any real hiphop head to end the summer.

I was at the Masquerade for the Red Bull EmSee freestyle competition and the headliner of the night was none other than Talib Kweli. I am from Chicago and I will openly admit that I listened to Kanye West so I was in much need of a real lyricist who didn’t just talk the talk but walked the walk. He didn’t want to walk with Jesus and be a part of the Roc, he just wanted to spit truth to youth.Talib Kweli performing at Masquerade Atlanta, GA

I, like everyone else in the house, sat through a set of 10 emcees that battled to win $1,000 cash, a song produced by 9th wonder and recorded at Red Bull studios. The winner of the night was Man Child. Some may call an amazing caucasian. He was actually pretty good and so were the other 9 emcees that battled him, Mad Illz, Dillion, Kaze, Tea Bag the herbalist, Kp, Verbal, Reid Richard, Sun N Y and Thirteen year old Dallas Harvey who won on 107.9 to earn his spot in the competition. I thought everybody did ok but I personally liked Tea Bag the herbalist. Also, his name sounded like me and he might have some things in common. I am just saying I once owned an herb shop on Ponce, we both might like herbs.

After waiting for all the future stars to get done shining, Talib came out on time and not 3 hours late, like some of these unprofessional rappers. He spoke with a positive overtone to his music without seeming Talib Kweli performing at Masquerade Atlanta, GAlike he was scared to be corny. You could tell he knew who he was and he was secure in his position and his mission. I was standing on stage listening to him and thinking to myself, if the King of the ‘A’ really is changing his music and his ways; I am looking for him to do a song with Talib and spit knowledge, wisdom and understanding. I remember when this was the foundation for writing rhymes.

I learned from hiphop everything I know. I learned about the original people of the earth, the 5% nation, Malcolm X, etc. I don’t have enough space to talk about what X-clan taught me. I learned from Rakim, Public enemy, Ice Cube, 2Pac, the list just goes on. I listen now and watch my children doing the stanky leg and I wonder what they will be doing for the upliftment of God’s people with their knowledge, wisdom and understanding. I give this show more than 5 mics or two thumbs up. I give it the nod of approval from those who came before this “Truth” in front of me known as Talib Kweli. Until Truth prevails my eyes will be watching

Special Thanks:

Lisa Beachy, Communications Mngr.

Dres Tha Beatnik Emcee

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