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The pairing looks odd on paper: Brooklyn-born lyrical prodigy Talib Kweli touring with Mississippi crunk politico David Banner? Their respective locales align the two with disparate hip-hop schools, Kweli with New York’s conscious crate-digging and Banner with the New South’s thug swagger. The artists’ mobilizing messages have some similarities, though; while Kweli employed “hostile gospel” metaphorically on 2007’s Eardrum, the phrase fits Banner’s raunchy-reverend persona perfectly. Banner and Kweli’s innovative production tastes will align when they’re backed by Rhythm Roots Allstars—the “live” part of the “Hip Hop Live Tour.” Any hopes that this sort of collaboration might turn the stage into a hip-hop pulpit must be tempered however, by the free pairs of Sony headphones that will be handed out, reminding attendees of the importance of individual branding.
TALIB KWELI, DAVID BANNER, AND B.O.B. WITH RHYTHM ROOTS ALLSTARS PERFORM AT 7 P.M. AT THE 9:30 CLUB, 815 V ST. NW. $25. (202) 265-0930.