ITHACA, N.Y. — Hip hop legend Talib Kweli will be playing at the new Ithaca Commons’ Bernie Milton Pavilion on Thursday, Sept. 3, according to the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

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Kweli, who was catapulted to the national spotlight for his Black Star collaboration with rapper Mos Def, will play the free concert as part of the CFCU Summer Concert Series. It starts at 7 p.m.

From a news release issued Wednesday by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance:

The concert will be free, all ages, and rain or shine. This very special installment comes with talent support from GreenStar Natural Foods Co-op and the Cornell Hip Hop Collection.

Hailing from Park Slope, Brooklyn, Kweli made his underground debut in 1995 and in the ensuing two decades has earned global recognition as one of the most lyrically gifted and socially aware rappers on the scene. He is also well known for his longtime musical partnership with fellow Brooklynite Mos Def in their East Coast rap duo Black Star, as well as his genre-bending collaborations with the likes of Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Justin Timberlake, Norah Jones, and Gary Clark, Jr.

Confirmation of Kweli’s upcoming performance in downtown Ithaca comes just days after a surprise album drop; Kweli surprised fans with a twelve-track compilation of rarities and B-sides titled Train of Thought. His most recent studio album, Gravitas, garnered four-star reviews fromXXL and HipHopDX and charted on the Billboard 200.

Here are some of Kweli’s classic tunes:

(This one isn’t that well known, but I think rivals his best from “Reflection Eternal” — JS:)


Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.