Smile Politely

An Epidemic of Hip-Hop’s Illest Descend Upon the Cornfields

Two New York’s infamous five boroughs (Queens and The Bronx), well-known for producing some of hip-hop’s hall of fame artists, are getting ready to let loose two of their finest into the wild of their Illinois fan base. On Saturday, September 30, the Canopy Club will play host to one of the biggest hip-hop big ticket bills in recent memory, as Nas and Talib Kweli make their way into Champaign-Urbana.

Independently, these two artists account for some of the most critically acclaimed albums and lyrical works of modern hip-hop. Kweli, as part of the original lineup on Rawkus Records, was part of several pivotal hip-hop groups, including Reflection Eternal with DJ Hi-Tek, and Black Star with Brooklyn-native Mos Def. Since premiering with underground hip-hop hall of famers Mood in 1997, Kweli’s blunt-edged, conscious, black empowerment brand of hip-hop, combined with a sentence-cramming delivery have played into some of the most notable hip-hop tunes, translating into both underground and commercial appeal.

Nas, as an MC, has been nearly unstoppable since his premier on Main Source’s “Live at the Barbecue” in 1991. His first solo album, Illmatic, paints a striking picture of common big-metropolis life, all set to a distinctive voice so young, yet backed by producers that already held legendary status (Large Professor, Pete Rock, DJ Premier.) Having just released his ninth album, The N, and survived his self-proclaimed eulogy of hip-hop as a whole, he still stands as one of the greatest driving forces in modern, true school hip-hop music.

Alongside these two scale-tippers of modern hip-hop, will be local legend Krukid, and New Orleans native Jay Electronica, both emerging voices in this nouveau movement back towards roots hip-hop.

This is definitely one of those shows to experience, as you never know when another bill like this might be rolling through. Come and catch a taste of what hip-hop is supposed to sound like.

Tickets are $35 in advance, and can be purchased through the Canopy Club, either online or at several locations around town (Bacca Cigar, Exile on Main Street, Family Pride Convenience.)

Don’t miss this one, kids.

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