Blackalicious performed their second Boulder show in less than a year and it was fire.
The love was real last Saturday night at the Fox, as legendary hip-hop duo Blackalicious made their second visit to Boulder in less than a year. And much like last fall, Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel did not disappoint.
The show kicked off with a short solo set from Denver's own Kitty Crimes. An MC too talented to play to the empty room that she did, KC transitioned from poppy beats and ethereal vocals to grime and lyrical fire with ease throughout her short set. Her closing cover of OutKast's “Bombs Over Baghdad” definitely got the crowd hyped, and started the buzz of energy that built with every performer of the evening.
The room filled in more for Lance Coleman, better known as Fuze the Mc, who brought a great storytelling presence to the show. The digital strategist for Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj by day and soulful rapper by night’s set leaned heavily on songs about his failed relationships, and his looking for love in the wrong places. But the highlight of his set was a spoken word acapella piece about his pursuit of success within the musical industry alongside pal Lupe Fiasco.
And then it was time for Blackalicious. If you’ve seen one of the California duo’s shows, then you know the greatness you can expect from the Quannum crew. Like their show last September, Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel were joined by Lateef the Truthspeaker and Jumbo the Garbageman for their performance. After opening with “Blacka” from their 2015 release, Imani Vol 1., the duo proceeded to breeze through selections from their entire catalog. "On Fire Tonight", "That Night", "The Blow Up", "Deception", "Alphabet Aerobics", "Blazing Arrow", "First in Flight", and "Make You Feel that Way" made up the setlist, but surprisingly, the duo did not play any new songs despite Gab's promising tease that Imani, Vol II. will be dropping “very, very, very, very, very, very soon”. These showmen definitely gave an incredible performance with a palpable energy that didn’t die until the show ended, which was after the duo’s "Chemical Calisthenics" encore. It was a great night of hip hop that I hope to see repeated again soon.
Watch Blackalicious’ video for their song “On Fire Tonight”:
Every hip hop enthusiast owes it to themselves to see a lyrical master like Gift of Gab perform live at least once in their life, so keep up with Blackalicious’ tour schedule and catch one of their shows soon!
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.