Immortal Technique and Talib Kweli Preview

  • Post Author
    by Web manager
  • Post Date
    Wed Mar 04 2015


It seems that Madison has been blessed in recent months with a slew of great hip-hop tours, bordering on legendary. The end of 2014 saw Joey Bada$$ at the Barrymore, followed by a world-crushing appearance of Run The Jewels at the Majestic. In the two months of the new year, we saw Frozen Fest get rocked by various hip-hop acts, Hail Mary Mallon slay at the Barrymore, Doomtree sell out the Majestic, and even an appearance by Royce Da 5'9” and DJ Premier as PRhyme at the High Noon Saloon. The trend continues this Monday, as legends Immortal Technique and Talib Kweli will perform at the Barrymore.

If, for some reason, you are unfamiliar, these two men are the definition of legends.

Talib Kweli got his start in Cincinnati, working with producer and underground legend Hi-Tek before taking Hi-Tek to NYC to work with Mos Def on the classic Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star. Further cementing their place in hip-hop lore, Talib and Hi-Tek went on to release Reflection Eternal's classic Train of Thought. Talib has since released a number of solo albums (including the excellent Quality), Reflection Eternal's Revolutions Per Minute, and collaborations with other hip-hop luminaries (such as Liberation with Madlib). Across all his releases, Talib has made a point to speak his mind about social issues while still finding the positive and funky angle.

Immortal Technique's career has taken a different path. While Talib has had high-profile projects with legendary producers and rappers (Quality's “Get By” was a Kanye production), Immortal Technique has kept his cards closer to his chest. With only three official releases and a handful of other works, he has released less material with which to make an impact, but each track packs a punch. His beats tend to be minimalist and dark, accentuating his percussive and intense delivery. Case in point, his most famous track, “Dance with the Devil” is a horrifying morality tale about drug dealing whose beat is built around a softly strummed guitar and a repeated minor-key piano figure.

Together, they are taking their socially-conscious hip-hop on the road as the headliners of The People's Champion tour. Joining Talib Kweli and Immortal Technique on the tour are NIKO IS (noted for lush production and off-the-wall rhymes), CF (for Constant Flow, an Immortal Technique label mate with similar flow, but less minimal beats), and Hasan Salaam (another Immortal Technique label mate with highly political rhymes). Taken all together, it should be an intense, cathartic night of hip-hop in what is quickly becoming Madison's premier hip-hop venue, the Barrymore Theater.

Immortal Technique, Talib Kweli, NIKO IS, CF, and Hasan Salaam will be performing at the Barrymore Theater on Monday, 3/9. Doors open at 7 PM. Show at 8 PM. Tickets can be purchased here.

– Matthew Cortner