Pusha T And Talib Kweli Dominate CMJ Showcases
A lot of CMJ week, much like with SXSW and even major festivals like Bonnaroo, is all about time management. So on a night like last night (Wednesday, October 16), it can be tough to fit in all the shows that you want to see. And with Pusha T headlining a showcase at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan and a star-studded bill topped by Talib Kweli holding it down at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, tough choices had to be made.
Arriving at LPR around 10:30, it was Syrian electronic musician Omar Souleyman who had the crowd moving, with a friend describing his music as perfect for a rave in the middle of the desert. But everyone was holding their breath for Push, and when he came out and opened with “King Push,” the first track off My Name Is My Name (produced by Sebastian Sartor), the energy noticeably bumped up a notch. His set ran through a series of radio hits and deep cuts from throughout his recent catalog, including “Hold On” off MNIMN (Rick Ross didn’t make an appearance, however), “Mercy” and “New God Flow,” as well as “Millions” and “Blocka” off his Wrath Of Caine mixtape.
But before it was over, it was time to jet across town to catch the rest of the Duck Down/Javotti Media showcase, which had featured Black Moon, Smif-N-Wessun, Cory Mo, Sean Price, Res, Phony Ppl, T’Nah Apex, F. Stokes and Children of the Night. Due to travel issues and the aforementioned problems with trying to budget out time, we arrived just before Kweli hit the stage, but he brought out a couple of the night’s earlier performers to help out in his dynamic set. Res lent her dazzling voice to a couple songs, while Sean Price assisted on Gutter Rainbows‘ “Palookas” and Cory Mo brought his Southern swagger to the stage.
Kweli’s got a new project on the horizon, the direct-to-fan release Gravitas which is set for the end of the year, while Cory is gearing up to drop his new Javotti Media album Take It Or Leave It on Tuesday. A lot of tough decisions had to be made, but all in all it was another memorable CMJ night in the bag.