Many people may think rap and hip-hop are about nothing more than firearms, status and bling. However, some artists in this particular genre make it their musical agenda to project positive attitudes and intellectual lyrics.
Talib Kweli has been doing so for more than 15 years and will be sharing these talents with Columbus as he headlines tomorrow at 8 p.m. at Skully’s Music Diner.
The event is a part of Kweli’s tour to promote his newest album “Gutter Rainbows,” which was released in January.
Opening acts include Matt Reed & TGP and The Usual Suspects.
“They’re all guys just trying to break into the scene a little bit more,” said James Bice, owner of Royal Columbus, the booking company behind the concert.
There will also be performances from the Ohio Takeover Tour, which includes J. Rawls and LxE For the Uncool.
“J. Rawls is one of, if not the most, recognized Columbus producers, and he also DJs,” Bice said.
LxE is a local artist who has previously worked with Kweli, and J. Rawls produced for him several years ago.
“Definitely expect a really dope, creative, interactive show,” LxE said. “We all bring a different type of hip-hop feel to our sets.”
The event is in conjunction with Power 107.5’s “Are You Radio Ready?” competition.
“This is the first qualifying round,” Bice said. “We had over 100 contestants sign up, people voted for their favorites online; now we are down to the final 16.”
The competition showcases local musicians performing their original work. The winner will receive airtime and rotation on Power 107.5, Bice said.
The artist who currently holds the most online votes in the competition is from Columbus and goes by the name of C10. When discussing Kweli, C10 said he believes the content of a rap artist’s music is very important.
“I’m a fan of music with a message and content,” C10 said. “So I’m honored to be a part of the show from being a fan of hip-hop.”
Kweli will also be doing an in-store signing at Magnolia Thunderpussy from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The signing is free and will take place before the competition.
His last show in Columbus in November 2010 sold out quickly and hundreds of people were turned away at the door the night of the show, Bice said.
“I know anyone who comes will have a good time,” Bice said. “It’s more of a party than a concert. It won’t really be rolling along until 9 p.m.”
This show is 18 and older, and pre-sale tickets have sold out. Tickets for $25 are still available at Showclix.com and at Magnolia Thunderpussy in the Short North.