City Winery has hosted a plethora of soulful acts and Talib Kweli (with opener Rashad Tha Poet) was a night for the hip-hop culture. I always feel like I’m whisked away when I walk into the performance hall of the City Winery. The ceilings are high and the ambiance of a dark house with candle-lit tables with the silhouettes of wine barrels is always a treat for an intimate and grown folks night at City Winery.
The show started right on time at 8 pm. As I was walking to my seat Rashad tha Poet was warming up the crowd. Coming off of opening for the Black Music Honors, Rashad tha Poet opened the show for Talib Kweli. Rashad tha Poet (RTP) is a poet, actor, rapper and I’ll even call him an activist. He’s also a Nashville Native, like me! His stage presence, confidence, and soul was a welcome intro for the nights’ crowd. Through his lyrics, Rashad sends a message of belief in self and the black experience mixed with witty and thoughtful words and quips. Rashad warmed the crowd with his realness and we all responded – hands in the air swaying.
Rashad Tha Poet introduced us to a song called “Make it Enough” which is inspired by the scene from Friday which he leads the crowd through the lines…You know how it goes:
My favorite song by Rashad is “The Yeahs” which he performed as well. Oooo we that song is so smooth.
RTP is dropping a new song “Real” this month. You can check him and his music out at www.rashadthapoet.com
Niko Is was the second opener from Orlando. His style is wild and creative and fast-moving lyrics; a real character for sure. He rapped fast with a style that reminded me of a combination of Busta Rhymes and Twista. Learn more about Niko at nikois.bandcamp.com
Around 10 pm Taliw Kweli took the stage. I’m a Talib Kweli fan however, I don’t know all the lyrics to his songs. I do know who he is and what he means to hip hop. During the nights’ performance, Talib Kweli paid tribute to a lot of his hip-hop partnerships including Wu-Tang and BlackStarr. He also performed his classic song ” The Blast” (Fist in the air for (Kweli)).
At one part of his act Talib asked for the different age groups, “all the 80s babies (that’s me)” then the 90s babies” who were in the house. He asked for the 2000s babies but there weren’t any in the crowd to which Talib said “they were the children of the 80s babies LOL. Talib then did a few sets of old school to Michael Jackson, Switch, and even Paul McCartney whom he remarked “Got Bars”.
Now ya’ll know Talib is WOKE and he gave us about 10 minutes of him talking about the current racial and political environment. He spoke about his definition of conservative (unwilling to share resources) as well as being a social justice superhero (which he thought was kinda cool). It wasn’t quite a rant, but more of a speech for the heart. The crowd enjoyed every minute of it.
Be sure to visit City Winery for upcoming shows, wine tastings, and live music.
Check the website for details: www.citywinery.com