Immortal Technique with Talib Kweli
April 6, 2015
Photos and review by Grant Albert
With a typical Miami Monday wrapping down, beats and hip-hop flows were taking over Grand Central. The venue was loaded with the true lovers of the underground rap and hip-hop scene. The dance floor was officially flooded with everyone getting ready to hear the nasty flows of Immortal Technique and Talib Kweli; their only Florida show. Both are booking venues under the Peoples Champions tour and made their way to Miami for a night of sick beats and smooth poetry.
The concert started at sevenwith the eccentric Poison Pen being the host for the evening. He asked the crowd to simply sit back and enjoy. Various openers graced the stage to properly warm up the audience. CF started for a rather short set and then Hassan Salaam, who’s new album is called Life in Black and White took over. Since this was the only Florida stop on the tour, the managers made it special with surprise guests. Both Akir and Florida native Mike G took time to spit on the mic. With a Florida native wrapping up his last song, the crowd was fully eager to await the underground legends.
Felipe Andres Coronel or Immortal Technique, draws a vast and devoted crowd. His first album Revolutionary Volume 1 is considered to be one of the best independent hip-hop albums of all time. He doesn’t rap about flossing the streets nor about women or with an ego. His songs are simply poetry with a beat. He talks about the often psycho-social issues that haunt not only the third world, but our nation too. Between abortion, war, human rights, poverty, drug use, and overall health, he leaves no sensitive topic untouched. Felipe Andres Coronel is truly a lyrically genius by all accounts.
With his fourth album The Middle Passage coming out soon, Immortal did not hold back. Once you get past his often lengthy preaching, he truly delivers. Bringing back some classic tracks like “Dance with the Devil,” “Freedom of Speech,” “Leaving the Past,” and “Obnoxious,” when his set was over, the crowd was not only fulfilled musically but also with a sense of connection towards everyone around them. Not many performers can do that but Immortal Technique seems to do it perfectly.
Talib Kweli was to wrap up the night. Kweli also evokes the struggles of civil justice and is the other half to the legendary New York hip-hop duo Black Star. Kweli has made countless appearances on CNN, Fox News, the John Stewart Show, the Colbert Report, and Bill Maher talking about human rights, struggles, and controversies, such as the Trayvon Martin case. Taleb Kweli brought a smooth, New York sound that captured the audience and brought back tracks from new and old. Radio Silence is Talib’s latest album coming out soon.
This concert fully broadcasted what underground hip-hop is about: Solid beats and powerful lyrics. These were not bubble-gum, flowery lyrics that are often seen in the mainstream world of hip-hop, but lyrics that make you think. Most important was the unselfishness of the acts themselves.
All the performers thanked not only the crowd but the workers of Grand Central, even telling the audience to pick up after themselves. They joked around with each other and the crowd where it almost seemed more like standup hour. Philosophy, politics, jokes and of course music were all shared on during this concerts. And Mondays are supposed to be slow…
Immortal Technique’s albums are available for free via is labels site, viperrecords.com. His third album The 3rd World also helped build a school in Afghanistan, which he personally helped build.