Friday, April 22, 2016
Live Review: Blackalicious @ Marlin Room of Webster Hall
It was a bit difficult to muster up the confidence to go out on Thursday night following the news that Prince died. Things didn't seem right, even though the singer and this writer never met, Prince was still an important aspect to what has gone on in music and changed it forever. However, after much thought, "The Purple One" would have wanted his fans to celebrate and have a good time.
Heading down to Webster Hall, cars were blasting Prince tunes and as Good Charlotte played the main stage, the reunited Blackalicious were playing the intimate Marlin Room inside the iconic venue. The duo, who were joined by Jumbo and Lateef the Truth Speaker, brought their golden era hip-hop sounds to the small room.
With their tongues spitting lyrics at what felt like a million miles an hour, the group took fans through a timeline of songs including cuts from their latest, Imani Vol. 1, which was released in August.
Early in the performance, The Gift of Gab paused for a moment to reflect on the life of Prince. As the room was painted with the purple lights from the stage, fans got quiet for a moment of silence and then celebrated his life and legacy.
Gab, who was verbally exercising his talents, still destroys the mic. With Jumbo and Lateef, the group had two hype men that could sing, rap and get the crowd going. In some instances, Gab would take a seat, catch his breath and watch his friends go to work and entertain the room.
During the hour long set, the highlight came as they all took turns freestyling about everything from pop culture headlines to being in New York and the teams within the city. As the clock struck closer to midnight, their set came to an end. Blackalicious, despite what was happening in the music world, brought comfort and entertainment to an otherwise depressing night.