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Monday, June 07, 2004

My ears are still ringing and my adrenelin is still flowing from the Kweli show, which was amazing. For some reason, I believed people when they said it was going to start relatively on time, so I was actually there by 8:15. Normally, I would never think a hip hop show would start on time, but I got burned last summer when I went to the Rock the Mic show late, only to find out it had started on time because they didn't want teenagers hanging around all hours of the night, so I only saw 50 cent and Jay Z (which was probably enough; who the hell need to listen to Fabulous live, after all). Anyway, given that Kweli was an all-ages show, I thought it would, maybe, start on time, but it didn't. I think perhaps either he or MF Doom were late, but I don't have the details. It doesn't matter, anyway. Kweli probably played an hour and 20. I don't think it was a $30 show, personally, but it was very enjoyable, and he's really the best of the new old schoolers. It was interesting watching the crowd, though. It was very very male, mostly Hispanic, and they were totally into Kweli, which was amazing (although frankly the sound kind of sucked and I don't know if anyone was really hearing Kweli's lyrics, though I could be wrong). The girls that were there were mostly the Chicanobuilt crowd (except for the requisite hippie girl contigency) and they (the Chicanobuilt girls) did not seem into it at all. Normally, the girls are all about the dancing, but dancing to hip hop like Kweli and dancing to hip hop like Lil John are two very different things. Most of the hip hop these girls hear isn't the same as the kind of hip hop I was hearing when I was their age. I like the bubble-gum shit too (some; some of it is just lame, it's like the parody song from Brown Sugar; that ho is mine), but listening to Kweli is a completely different experience. Dancing, yes, but also all the live sampling and the lyricism. There's an interesting article today on alternet How Copyright Law Changed Hip Hop that was weirdly precipitious for me to see this morning, because it was on my mind after the Kweli show last night. So much of contemporary hip hop is just beats and surface lyrics, it's really just top 40 using hip hop. It's not old school with the sampling and the layering of different songs. It's not a movement, like KRS 1 says, it's just an echo. Kweli's live show was very old school. But I don't know if you could make an album like the Beastie's Paul's Boutique today. They must have sampled 7 million things on that thing. Well, seeing shows at The Paramount is always amazing; it's such a great venue for things. If I could see Bowie and the Beasties there I might never need to go to another show again. Not.