Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek are the rapper/producer team behind two of the most beloved documents of hip-hop's '88-revisionism glory days: 1998's Mos Defassisted Black Star LP and 2000's Train Of Thought. Talib has long been trying to distance himself from the more granola elements of "alternative hip-hop," but has lost none of his socially aware tongue-twisters—even will.i.amproduced bubblegum jams like "Hot Thing" maintain a brittle edge. Kweli and Tek are set to release long-awaited second album Revolutions Per Minute. While single "Back Again" doesn't break new ground, be grateful that its throwback-soul vibe and battle-rap posturing aren't kowtowing to ringtone economics. Completing tonight's true-school vibe is Slaughterhouse—a bare-knuckle brawler supergroup made up of punchline pros Joe Budden, Royce the 5'9", Crooked I, and Joell Ortiz. They're supposed to save rap with their back-to-basics guns-'n'-gags style, even if their debut makes one too many concessions to same-word-rhyming Atlanta trap-rap. With a Slum Village's tribute to Dilla and perennial freestyle king Supernatural. Hosted by Pete Rock!
Fri., Aug. 28, 11:30 p.m., 2009