By Jordan Grammer | December 9, 2022

While Talib Kweli’s NYC stop at the Brooklyn Bowl earlier this month may have felt like a homecoming show for the Brooklyn native, we could instantly tell he and the band have brought the same incredible energy to every other spot they play. However, with such an amazing local opener act as Dudley Music, we couldn’t help but wonder if Kweli and the group were out to bring it a little bit more for us Gotham groovers.

Cutting his teeth in the parks of New York, the hip-hop industry of the late 90s and early 00s, and still performing and recording today is a feat within itself, but Talib Kweli is no regular emcee. Heralded as one of the great lyricists soon after his debut, Kweli became a champion of the conscious rap scene thanks in part to both his solo work and his legendary collaboration with Yasiin Bey in “Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star” in 1998. So after nearly 25 years of music, you’ll have a lot of material to play. Performing for a mix of new fans, oldheads, locals out for a groovy Friday night out, and literal backpackers alike, Kweli went across his full discography, so we were sure to remember the good times, and look forward to what was to come.

While Kweli brought other collaborators such as NIKO IS on stage, it was far from him stopping to pass the baton onto the next generation. In fact, he even teased another collaborative album with Madlib on the horizon, which we cannot wait to hear. That being said, his guests were an amazing addition to the show, bringing the old posse cut feel that is sometimes missing from other acts. Kweli even brought his own son to rap alongside him!

Brooklyn Bowl is such a great venue because once the lights go down in the bowling alley, the video systems turn to what is going on on-stage, so you almost get a 360-degree immersive feeling, and with the incredible mood lighting (green for the classic “Get Em High” of course), the show was as electric as it was nostalgic. Speaking of electricity, the opener Dudley Music out of Long Island truly kept the audience locked in the whole time with his solo multi-instrumental act ranging from beat looping, rapping, keyboard, flute, and later playing sax for Kweli’s set. Be sure to follow him to check the next time he will perform in the city or check the groovecal for all upcoming shows 😉

Connect with Talib Kweli on Instagram, Youtube, Spotify and his website

📸: shot by Blake Rozelle

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