Talib Kweli is nothing if not prolific. Six months after releasing Prisoner of Conscious, he returned with Gravitas, which as the name would imply, had some lyrical ballast. The socially conscious rapper and co-founder of Black Star has a Brooklyn pedigree and a poetic sensibility that mixes rhythmic complexity and virtuosic flow with a background in political activism, dropping knowledge wrapped in a combustible beat. In a recent study that compared Shakespeare’s vocabulary with hip-hop’s leading lights, Kweli barely fell short of the once-controversial Bard. The comparison might be hyperbolic, but it’s enough to parlay his street cred for some Brooklyn lit cred.
Sat., May 17, 1:30 p.m., 2014