|© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2004-04-18
Next Tuesday, the hottest art exhibit in town isn't at the Whitney, or at a small Chelsea gallery.
For one night only, the art of rhyme will take center stage when three titans take the stage at the Roseland Ballroom: Rakim, Ghostface Killah and Talib Kweli.
"This ain't Jay-Z and Beyonce," says Hot 97 radio personality and deejay Kay Slay. "This is a hip-hop show."
"This ain't glamorous," he adds. "These guys aren't selling 10 million records."
In recent years, hip-hop shows featuring popular artists have mostly come in the form of huge, corporate-sponsored radio festivals.
The Roseland gig promises to be a relatively intimate affair.
Kweli broke out in 1998, releasing an album with Mos Def under the name Black Star.
Since then he has recorded two solo albums, notably last year's "Quality," which spawned minor hit "Get By."
Ghostface is releasing his first full-length CD on Tuesday.
"There is no way that you are listening to hip-hop right now and you don't think Ghostface is one of the best," says Kweli.
The show's biggest draw is Rakim, considered to be one of the fathers of modern hip-hop, who rarely plays live shows anymore.
With his deejay/producer partner, Eric B., the Long Island MC created some of the most forward-thinking, innovative hip-hop ever.
"He's the quintessential MC," says Kweli. "Lots of MCs come and go - Jay-Z, Eminem - but without Rakim, there wouldn't be any of those guys."
Written by Chris Ryan for the New York Post