Alive @ 5 Talib Kweli, Jennings Landing 7/7/22 -By: Ed Conway

Written by on July 10, 2022

Alive @ 5 Talib Kweli, Jennings Landing 7/7/22

Being in my 60’s, I am not what you would call a Hip Hop aficionado, but I enjoy the Hip Hop nights at Alive @ 5.  A few years ago was Big Daddy Kane, and this year featured Talib Kweli.  The rappers always bring their A game, and the crowd responds likewise making for an electric evening of infectious high energy.  Kweli has collaborated with a who’s who of artists such as Kanye West, as well as, a duo act with Mos Def called Black Star.  On this evening, Kweli brought along a tight backing band which included guitarist, Mathias Loescher, bassist, Brady Watt, keyboard player, Chris Rob, and drummer, Akinlawon Bernstine.  While I may not have been familiar with Kweli, his audience certainly was.  They followed along word for word throughout the set.  The energy generated on the stage was reflected back as the fans crowded up to the barriers dancing to the constant beat Bernstine was laying down.  At one point, the band laid into a sampling of The Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’ as Kweli rapped between choruses.  Kweli is also known for his social activism, and this show was no exception.  He spoke of equality for everyone during a short pause before returning to the music.  I read somewhere that he had put his words into action and canceled a European show due to one of the other perfomer’s racist attitudes and lyrics.  

Getting the growing crowd warmed up for the show was a series of local DJs each taking a nearly half hour set.  Starting off was JB aka Dirty Moses, whose set I unfortunately missed as I was running late.  Next up was DJ Siroc.  And finally, DJ TGIF got a group of people up and dancing.

All in all, it was a beautiful evening along the banks of the Hudson at Jennings Landing.  The music was hot, the crowd was really into it making it impossible not to get caught up.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The only thing that could put the icing on the cake was an afterparty at Lost & Found, and yes, we made that too.  I may have missed JB at Jennings Landing, but we were able to catch him with the Victory Soul Orchestra for the last 45 minutes of their set. And as always, they didn’t disappoint.  


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