Black Star Gang ft. Yasiin Bey, Talib Kweli, DJ Premier w/ Brother Ali, Evidence, The Reminders @ MISSION BALLROOM

Black Star Gang ft. Yasiin Bey, Talib Kweli, DJ Premier w/ Brother Ali, Evidence, The Reminders @ MISSION BALLROOM

Sat, November 23, 2019

8:30 pm

$49.95 - $89.95

This event is 16 and over

Talib Kweli
Talib Kweli
The Brooklyn-based rapper earned his stripes as one of the most lyrically-gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years. His travels around the globe as one of rap’s most in-demand performers combined with his conversations with political activists and his genre-straddling work with Idle Warship and others caused Kweli to realize that he was limited in a sense, a prisoner of sorts of his own success as one of the world’s best rappers with something significant to say. “My music has been associated with those types of causes, with positivity, spirituality, intelligence and being thought-provoking and such,” he says. “I think sometimes people get caught up in that part of me as an artist and don’t necessarily understand the musicality or fully appreciate the music and the entertainment value behind what I do. I tried to stretch my wings a little bit and bring something that was less beholden to the world of hip-hop and more existing in the world in general.” The result of this artistic growth and exploration arrives with Kweli’s dynamic Prisoner Of Conscious AKA P.O.C., an artistic tour de force that signals the start of the next chapter of Kweli’s remarkable career. The BK MC spent more time working on Prisoner Of Conscious than any of his other albums, a three-year journey that found him exploring new vibes, joining in some unlikely collaborations and taking him to foreign lands. Produced by Symbolyc One (Kanye West, Ghostface), the title track’s alternatively rap and rock-based beat provides a distinctive platform for Kweli to deliver rhymes that detail his artistic awakening, while producers Sean C & LV (Jay-Z, Raekwon) created a Marvin Gaye-esque vibe for “Come,” a cut featuring Miguel that showcases Kweli trying to convince a series of women to do things his way. Then there’s the dramatic, piano-driven “Before He Walked,” which showcases passionate vocals from singer Abby Dobson and includes a verse from possibly the most noteworthy guest on Prisoner Of Conscious: Nelly. Both Kweli and The St. Louis rapper recount the importance music has had in their lives on the stirring song, which was an outgrowth of conversations about music and life Kweli and Nelly had at Kweli’s Los Angeles residence. “Nelly is somebody I’ve known and have been friendly with throughout the years in this business,” Kweli says. “Nelly has always been an example for me because a rising tide raises all boats. Nelly is an artist who is polarizing at times because of the ‘Tip Drill’ video to the boycotts he’s endured at colleges, but I know him as a person, and he’s a great person.” Elsewhere, the driving “Ready Set Go” with singer Melanie Fiona features Kweli’s ever-impressive clever verbal gymnastics, which are also on display on the stark Busta Rhymes-guested and RZA-produced “Rocketships.” Kweli shifts gears on “Favela Love.” Inspired by and created during a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil, the breezy song features crooning from Brazilian singer and actor Seu George (City Of God, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). Kweli and George met in the studio, leading Kweli to deviate from his original concept for the song. “The song went from being about a woman to be being about Brazil, about the favela, about loving to come there,” he reveals. “The woman is really a metaphor for the place. That’s why it’s called ‘FavelaLove.’ When I was telling Seu George about that, he started singing about how much he loves Brazil andwhere Brazil fits in the world.” AFTER NEARLY 20 YEARS OF RELEASING MESMERIZING MUSIC, TALIB KWELI STANDS AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST TALENTED AND MOST ACCOMPLISHED RAPPERS. Whether working with Mos Def as one-half of Black Star, partnering with producer Hi-Tek for ReflectionEternal, releasing landmark solo material or collaborating with Kanye West or Madlib, Kweli commands attention by delivering top-tier lyricism, crafting captivating stories and showing the ability to rhyme over virtually any type of beat. Whether working with Mos Def as one-half of Black Star, partnering with producer Hi-Tek for ReflectionEternal, releasing landmark solo material or collaborating with Kanye West or Madlib, Kweli commands attention by delivering top-tier lyricism, crafting captivating stories and showing the ability to rhyme over virtually any type of beat. In particular, Kweli showed his artistic reach in Idle Warship. Teaming with longtime collaborator andacclaimed singer Res, Kweli began getting out of his sonic and creative comfort zone on the group’s 2009 mixtape Party Robot and its debut album, 2011’s Habits Of The Heart. Idle Warship’s music challenged Kweli and led him to a new artistic space. “I like the position I’m in,” he says. “I feel like I’m a connector, a leader. I feel like I’ve led by example and I want to continue to do that. I like the fact that I’m in a position where cats who are coming out and making music that I enjoy are interested in my music and are interested in my influence. It’s a great feeling.” Kweli also has the high-powered Attack The Block mixtape with DJ Z-Trip set to arrive and will be focusing on making his Javotti Media (which released his 2011 album, Gutter Rainbows, and is named after his paternal grandmother) into a media powerhouse that releases music, films and books. But for now, Prisoner Of Conscious arrives as an artistic triumph, a collection that embodies Talib Kweli’s robust creative vision. “I wanted to put out an album that really can support the artist that I’ve become,” he says. “I’m a touring artist. I’m an artist that’s internationally known. I’m not just a local artist at this point in my career. I’m cognizant of the fact that what I do is beyond where it started. I’m trying to reach the apex of where I am now, but without turning my back on or dismissing what I’ve done before.”
DJ Premier
DJ Premier
No more than three producers (Dr. Dre, RZA, and Prince Paul) can test DJ Premier's status as the most important trackmaster of the '90s, and no style is more distinctive. Aggressive and raw, a Premier track was an instantly recognizable soundclash of battling loops and heavy scratching -- all of them perfectly timed -- that evoked the sound of Brooklyn better than anyone. Besides helming tracks for his main concern, Gang Starr, since their 1989 debut, Premier's productions appeared on many of the East Coast's most important records: Nas' Illmatic, the Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die, Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt, Jeru the Damaja's The Sun Rises in the East, and Mos Def's Black on Both Sides.

Premier, born Chris Martin, spent time in Brooklyn and Houston while growing up, and studied computer science at Prairie View A&M outside Houston. Known as Waxmaster C, he'd already learned to play a variety of instruments and also managed a record store. After moving back to Brooklyn, around 1987-1988 he came into contact with Guru, a Boston native. Guru had already formed a group named Gang Starr two years earlier (and recorded with the 45 King), but his former partner, Mike Dee, had returned to Boston. DJ Premier and Guru signed to Wild Pitch and released a debut single ("Manifest") and album (No More Mr. Nice Guy). Gang Starr's interest in melding hip-hop with jazz informed the record, and they were invited to add to the soundtrack for Spike Lee's 1990 film Mo' Better Blues. Their subsequent work was much more mature and unified, with a pair of instant East Coast classics (1991's Step in the Arena and 1992's Daily Operation) arriving in short order.

DJ Premier had been working with other vocalists for years, and his productions for the 1990 landmark Funky Technician by Lord Finesse and DJ Mike Smooth cemented his status as one of the best producers around. He soon began recording exclusively at D&D Studios, a spot soon to become a shrine for hip-hop fans (thanks in large part to his own work). The year 1994 was a huge one for Premier, probably the best year for any rap producer ever; in addition to dropping another Gang Starr classic, Hard to Earn, his productions appeared on five-star, all-time classics by Nas (Illmatic), the Notorious B.I.G. (Ready to Die), and Jeru the Damaja (The Sun Rises in the East), as well as Big Daddy Kane and Branford Marsalis' Buckshot LeFonque project. Though his workload dropped off considerably during the late '90s, he still managed to place tracks on three of the first four Jay-Z albums, and returned in force with the new millennium, including shots with Common, D.I.T.C., D'Angelo, Jadakiss, and Snoop Dogg. John Bush, Rovi
Brother Ali
Brother Ali
Over the past 17 years, Brother Ali has earned wide critical acclaim for his deeply personal, socially conscious, and inspiring brand of hip-hop. Under Rhymesayers Entertainment, he’s unleashed a series of lauded projects, establishing himself as one of the most respected independent voices in music. The latest chapter in that celebrated journey is All the Beauty in This Whole Life, a 15-track collection produced entirely by Atmosphere’s Anthony “Ant” Davis.

“This entire album is based on the reality that beauty is the splendor of truth” says the Minneapolis MC. “Beauty in all of its forms is the outward manifestation of love and virtue. It soothes the soul and pulls it gently toward the truth it communicates. Every word and note of this album is intended to either reflect beauty, or expose the ugliness that blocks us from living lives of meaning.”

All the Beauty in This Whole Life is Ali’s first official release in five years and represents the newest and most refined chapter of his life’s journey. “Each of my albums are the result of the pain, growth and eventual healing that I experience. Articulating the pain and navigating the healing allows the people who really feel my music to travel with me. It’s not only that we hurt together, we heal together as well.”

This year, Brother Ali’s debut album on Rhymesayers Entertainment, Shadows on the Sun, celebrates its 15th anniversary. To commemorate this occasion, Brother Ali will embark on a special 13-date headlining tour where he will perform the full album in its entirety each night. The Shadows on the Sun 15-Year Anniversary Tour kicks off November 1st in Washington D.C., with stops in New York, Minneapolis, Austin, Los Angeles, and more.
Evidence
Evidence
Evidence, born Michael Perretta, never stops creating and he's constantly perfecting his craft as an emcee, producer, photographer, director, and graffiti artist. He’s been a long a champion of hip-hop culture and advocate for the genre. Evidence's affinity for hip-hop and the culture began in the early 1980s, with his parents' divorce and subsequent move from Santa Monica to neighboring Venice Beach. By the early 1990s, he became a graffiti artist painting hip- hop inspired hieroglyphics under the name PW in a group named MSK. Soon after he moved next door to QD3, son of producer Quincy Jones, Evidence started rapping. QD3, an accomplished West Coast producer, became one of Evidence's major influences in his pursuit to create music. From there, Evidence teamed with the likeminded Rakaa to form the group Dilated Peoples and after the success of their 1997 single “Third Degree” b/w “Confidence”and “Global Dynamics” on ABB Records – and the addition of DJ Babu to the fold a year later – the group quickly became a fixture on the hip hop tour circuit. As a collective, Dilated Peoples have toured the world and over a million albums, earning them a place in the hip-hop history books. Evidence is also an accomplished producer and had his production work-featured on tracks for the Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, Swollen Members, Defari, Planet Asia and co- production on Kanye West's debut album “College Dropout”which earned him a Grammy. Evidence has released a pair of solo albums in the “The Weatherman LP”and “Cats & Dogs”. As a solo artist he’s collaborated with Aloe Blacc, Raekwon, Slug, and Prodigy, and had production from the Alchemist, DJ Premier, DJ Babu, and others. Evidence’s last solo release debuted within the Top 10 of the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Independent Albums and Rap Albums charts while also reaching #64 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. In 2014, Evidence formed the group Step Brothers with fellow producer/rapper the Alchemist and unleashed their debut album "Lord Steppington". The quickly hit the road and began touring across America, Europe, and around the globe playing to sold-out shows. The album garnered critical acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork, XXL, All Music Guide, HipHopDX, and was named one of the "40 Best Rap Albums of 2014" by Rolling Stone. Dilated Peoples returned with their highly anticipated new album "Directors of Photography" on the Rhymesayers and cracked the Billboard Top 200 at #41 and debuted in the Top 10 on both the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Independent Albums chart
The Reminders
The Reminders
The Reminders are a rare and remarkable musical duo seamlessly blending soulful sounds and roots music with insightful messages and thoughtful lyrics. The group consists of Brussels-born emcee Big Samir and Queens-born emcee/vocalist Aja Black, a collective creative force that’s hard to beat. Big Samir weaves intricate rhythmic patterns with a bilingual French/English flow, displaying his street-smart credibility in both his lyrics and cool demeanor. This is beautifully complimented by Aja Black's confident delivery, diverse cadences, and unique vocal stylings. The two have an undeniable magical chemistry as they share more than lyrical abilities and stages; the couple shares a partnership in both music and life as Samir and Aja have been married for a decade.

Releasing their debut album 'Recollect' and their latest “Born Champions”, the Reminders have been recognized and applauded for their work internationally through concerts, tours, music awards, TV and radio appearances, and their incredible and dedicated fan base. Having shared the stage with artists such as Snoop Dogg, Nas, Mos Def, Big Boi, and touring with Ms. Lauryn Hill, the Reminders have established a firm place in today's ever-evolving music scene, garnering international acclaim while paving a path all their own. Beyond performances and appearances, the duo is constantly and actively engaged with community organizations, schools, and universities delivering workshops, talks, and specially catered performances.

More than a shade of the same color that we see time and time again, The Reminders transcend the bounds of what is expected. Their stage presence and high energy shows leave crowds in awe the world over, allowing the duo to uplift and entertain all at once. Their unique mashup of razor sharp rhymes; raw, soulful vocals; and reggae-tinged hip hop beats form the perfect backdrop for their relevant and inspiring themes, leaving a lasting impression on listeners with audiences always wanting more. The Reminders take their hip hop foundation and move it beyond genre, time, and space to create a global musical experience that is classic and speaks to all those willing to participate.
Venue Information:
Mission Ballroom
4242 Wynkoop St.
Denver, Colorado
https://www.missionballroom.com/