Real T@lk (Photo by Tom Olson)
Big Boi, Killer Mike, & Real T@lk at Park West 5/1 [Recap]
When I think of rappers, I generally don't picture them in bow ties or suits, nor would I expect one to be accompanied by a full live band with dancers who reflect a kind of style and class seemingly lost in a game saturated with mediocre djs and scantily dressed go go dancers. But Real T@lk is that breath of fresh air - with a calculated flow, the smooth pipes of Sohje, a band dressed flyer than they have to be, and dancers who remind you its okay to dance at a rap show. This is more than just rap - this is art. And with an inspiring performance of "Count It Up" off The Talented Tenth 8.0, Real T@lk set the bar higher than most opener's could imagine.
Killer Mike (Photo by Who Dough)
The surprises continued though, as Killer Mike took the stage. Despite the name, Killer Mike ain't no killer - he's a lover. It quickly became evident how Killer Mike loves hip hop, his fans, and his family - at one point taking a moment to say how much he respects his wife, knowing how difficult it must be for her with him on the road - that's love. His love for hip hop - never more evident than in his bare bones approach to the night. It was just him and his dj on the dark stage, a couple of times abandoning the beat to go a cappella on "Untitled" and "Reagan." Its a sign of passion behind his words - because sometimes the message shouldn't be clouded behind a headnotic beat. The crowd has most definitely feelin' it too - chanting "FUCK RONALD REAGAN" during "Reagan," and "I AIN'T NEVA SCARED" as he covered Bone Crusher's classic. And before his time was up, Mike Bigga actually jumped off stage and into the crowd for a transcending performance of "God In The Building."
Big Boi (Photo by Who Dough)
As Big Boi took the stage, I wasn't sure how he was gonna top Real T@lk and Killer Mike, but Big Boi is a crowd pleaser - and Outkast fans were definitely catered to. The majority of Big Boi's time on stage was actually focused on Outkast anthems ("So Fresh, So Clean," "The Way You Move," Player's Ball," "Ms. Jackson") with the help of Killer Mike in Dre's absence. The rest of the set touched on their colabs ("Thom Pettie" and "Kryptonite") as well as highlighting the bangers off Sir Lucious Left Foot and Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. Although Big Boi's performance lacked the style of Real T@lk's set, and the intimacy of Killer Mike's, it was certainly a good time - just ask one of the dozens of girls invited to be on stage for the last couple songs.
Killer Mike & Who Dough
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