Folks will tell you that there's something of a cultural shift now happening in the rap game, much in the same way that the A Tribe Called Quests of the world helped smooth the transition from fist-in-your-face acts like N.W.A. and the Geto Boys (though both were quite prescient on occasion) to the whole Def Jukie/Anticon/backpack movements. There since the beginning have been Talib Kweli and his partner in rhyme, DJ Hi-Tek. For Kweli, poetry is written for the benefit of mankind equality, not the ego (i.e., dropping the "I's" and "me's" in the verses and replacing them with "we's" and "us's"). Kweli knows there's plenty of room to get ill and cure some ills at the same time, and that's likely his lasting legacy. Chuck D once said hip-hop was the CNN of the streets. Too often these days, it's more like Fox News. Kweli and 'Tek will fair and balance your ass the way it should be done. $20-$25, Amos' SouthEnd, www.amossouthend.com.
Timothy C. Davis