February 13, 2015, 8:30pm
Lincoln Center’s American Songbook
The Appel Room
(Broadway, between 62nd & 65th Sts.)
Time and again, Brooklyn-born MC Talib Kweli has embodied hip-hop’s power to advocate, influence, and transcend. Aligning his immaculate rhyming technique and lyricism with the genre’s other major talents—Mos Def, Common, and Kanye West, to name a few—Mr. Kweli exploded into broad public consciousness with 2004’s incisive “Get By” (The Beautiful Struggle). He was a contributor to the compilation albums Red Hot + Indigo and Red Hot + Live, the acclaimed early 2000s’ tributes to Duke Ellington and Fela Kuti, respectively. Unabashedly authentic but savvy, this impressive rap star’s music “embraces the binding value of truth as much as it documents his divergence from the methods traditionally used to uphold it” (Pitchfork). Listen for Mr. Kweli’s patented “quick-spitting East Coast lyricism” (A.V. Club) on tracks from his latest LP Gravitas.