Tonight's Concert Pick
By lesser artists, rap lyrics often devolve into boasts about who has more stacks of cash and packs of woman some at their disposal. One has to believe, however, that conscious rappers like Talib Kweli — who uses rap as a street poetry podium and tries to fill minds with powerful thoughts in hopes of improving lives — is ultimately where the future of this urban art form lies.
Born Talib Kweli Greene (His first name means "seeker" in Arabic. His middle name means "truth" in Swahili), the 34-year-old Brooklyn native grew up with a mom who teaches English and a father who teaches sociology. His upbringing was the perfect formula for soaking up early rap beats and rhymes on the streets of New York and learning how to best put them to use through education and knowledge of language and culture at home.
One listen to his perspective expanding verbiage, hypnotic cadence and thoughtful use of samples by everyone from Bob Marley to Elton John, lets a listener know Kweli is much more interested in reaching his audience through intellect, not chest-thumping.
His last album, Eardrum, nearly went to the top of the Billboard 200 albums charts in 2007. With any luck, Houston will get a sneak listen to a few tracks from upcoming album, Prisoner of Consciousness at this show.
Talib Kweli, 8 p.m. at Warehouse Live