Oakland’s Blackalicious is What Hip Hop Has Been Missing

Chief Xcel and Gab leftIt’s been a long time, they shouldn’t have left you, with a strong rhyme to step to…It was 10 years ago that Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel aka Blackalicious put out their last album, The Craft. It was a dope album and left many of their fans wanting more.  That ‘more’ never came.

The group did a lot of shows and would occasionally tour, producer Chief Xcel was doing a lot of work with Grammy nominee Ledisi  while Gab dropped a couple of solo albums….but no new music was coming from them as a duo.  This year all that changed when they got back in the studio,  creative juices on fire and dropped ‘Imani Vol 1’. It will be the first in a trilogy of albums.

Imani album coverIn a recent interview done at the group’s West Oakland studio, they noted that its important to take time off, grow and then put out something that reflects their collective growth, creative inspirations and overall freshness. Imani Vol 1 does not disappoint. Some may say it’s the return of the boom bap sound. Others may say its the return of Hip Hop music with substance.. I say its the return of a damn good group who have 20 years under the belt, have gotten better with age and gave us what most will deem straight rewind material.  Imani is not an album filled with filler.  Each song resonates. Each beat leaves its mark.

Below is our recent Hard Knock Radio interview

Download_Blackalicious interview 09-09-2015


Earlier this month Blackalicious and their extended crew Lateef the Truthspeaker, Myron, Verse, Win Strong, Jumbo of the Lifesavas and special guests Fantastic Negrito and Kelly Finnigan of the Monophonics came together and did an incredible show at the historic Filmore. I got to deejay for the opening acts and take some cool photos in between. Here are some of the flicks.. enjoy

written by Davey D