3 ways to see Talib Kweli on Friday

He’s rapping at Telus Theatre and speaking at the Phi Centre beforehand. Read on for details about how you can win tickets + more hip hop action this week.

shineThis has been some week. No amount of hyperbole can express how grateful I am for the warm welcome back The Shine has been greeted by.

And I wasn’t even away that long — and I wasn’t even completely away — so I’m hardly the prodigal son. I actually dropped my own jaw the other day just thinking. There I was, shaving, and it hit me that I had inadvertently pulled a rapper move. I’d announced my retirement and immediately come back.

No joke, I nicked myself while laughing at the man in the mirror

I didn’t mean for it to come off that way and of course, I’m pretty sure no one else has given it that much thought. But I guess we all have our moments.

Talib Kweli had a memorable moment a few weeks back, live from the streets of Ferguson, MO with CNN anchor Don Lemon. Shit got hectic quick and no matter who you side with, for whatever your reason, I think it’s fair to say that neither party came out on top that day. Considering the grim reality of why they were there in the first place, there is no coming out on top for anyone, which maybe got lost in the discourse as the video went viral.

But while Lemon and CNN have moved on to the next story, Kweli has taken time to address the situation and the deeper ugliness that surrounds it at great length here with The Final Call, then elaborating further about “bodies on the ground” protest vs. armchair social media faux-consciousness in this Billboard piece on his roots as an activist.

As reported last week, the Brooklyn legend is in town Friday for a show at Telus Theatre, but since then two things have happened.

The first is that Kweli has been booked for a limited-capacity speaking engagement beforehand at the Phi Centre, to be streamed live on Cult MTL. The second is that I’ve been asked to moderate the discussion.

Like I said, this has been some week. The opportunity to share what I love to do most on this scale, in this arena, is enriching. I once chased Kweli down through management for four days to get an eight-minute phoner that died with the phone signal in an elevator, so we got some catching up to do. But I been knowin’ how to pronounce the man’s name since ’98, so I’m confident I’ll do better than Lemon.

Tickets for what I believe we can claim will be a lively, engaging affair are available at Phi Centre for $12.75 all in. But there are only 200, and they are selling, so if you wanna join us, like Kweli said, “move somethin’!”

But now here’s a  little shortcut: share the official event page before 6 p.m. today (Thursday) for a chance to win a pair of tickets to attend the talk. A winner will be chosen at random.

Meanwhile, at $15, the Telus show afterwards is a steal, with High Klassified sharing the bill.

Random fact: Talib Kweli is, by virtue of his profile, the artist I’ve seen live the most number of times. And at that, under the most varied sets of circumstances, from opener to headliner, from club to arena, to an exclusive album launch show with every rapper ever from NYC in the building, to a Black Star show, to a Reflection Eternal show, to his last MTL gig with DJ Spinna on the decks — the list in fact goes on and on, and the rapper’s intrepid tongue has only gotten sharper.

So however you cut it, this whole night is gonna be special. And however you make yourself part of it, you will have fun. I hope to see you out there.

Here’s what the rest of the weekend has on offer:

Thursday: Radio Radio and Dead Obies rock a free back-to-school show at la FAECUM. Entrance at 3200 Jean-Brillant, 7 p.m.

Then, why not  Melt at Blizzarts, with Noo-Bap, Nick Wisdom, Amaris Daniel and TO’s Birthday Boy. 3956A St-Laurent, 10 p.m., free

Friday: Aus groove flexer and Future Classic signee Chet Faker headlines Olympia — the show is sold out but there’s also an afterparty at SAT, with Pomo, Starro and beyond. 1201 St-Laurent, 11 p.m., $5 w/ Chet Faker show ticket/$10

Saturday: Canicule Tropicale fetes four years with a soul shakedown party at Inspecteur Epingle. 4051 St-Hubert, 10 p.m., $8

Sunday: Five-part web series Gros Dimanche kicks off with Dead Obies and Duchess Says for episode one.

EXTRA HEADS-UP: POP Montreal is on from Sept. 17-21, so check back early next week for a special Shine supplement guide to what’s good for 2014. And be aware that Smif N Wessun and Wu Tang progeny Young Dirty Bastard take Cabaret Underworld on Thursday, Sept. 18. A meet and greet with Tek and Steele takes place at the Hip Hop Cafe beforehand. ■


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