Talib Kweli


Talib Kweli returns to form on December’s internet-only Gravitas, his second full-length of 2013. Whereas May’s Prisoner of Conscious featured his standard array of hyper-literate lyrics, its embrace of mainstream production styles meant that the majority of its tracks were ill-suited to Talib’s deft, jazzy flow. This disparity between beats and rhymes has been reduced somewhat on Gravitas, with its more organic, gritty vibe providing sufficient grounding for Talib’s sometimes highfalutin, but always well-intentioned wordplay. Songs like “State of Grace,” and Prisoner’s “Favela Love” will certainly stand nicely next to solo classics like “The Blast” and “Get By,” showing how much Kweli’s lyrical skills have remained consistent during his nearly two decades in the game.

Sun., Jan. 19, 9 p.m., 2014