After tweeting yesterday (October 6) that he would be heading to join protesters in Manhattan’s Financial District who have taken roost in the area as part of the vastly growing “Occupy Wall Street” movement, rapper Talib Kweli made good on his word last night and also performed a new song titled “Distraction” for the swelling crowd.
The Brooklyn native and longtime rhyme veteran corralled the revelers around him as he delivered an acapella verse although street noise and police sirens wailed away in the background. Talib has often shunned the socially conscious rapper label, but his sharp and pointed lyrics spoke directly the passion that inspired the jobs creation and social inequality protests.
“How you keepin’ up with my rappin?/You barely keepin’ up with Kardashians/You caught up in distractions/It’s the living proof you try to make the truth elastic as Mr. Fantastic/You recycling these rappers, truthfully these dudes is plastic/Comin’ through the front door blastin’/I aint talkin’ about them emails that you always send to the masses that somehow end up in my trash bin” – Talib then launched into some slight but pointed criticism of President Obama and continued to delight and wow the crowd with clever similes with his entire rhyme centered around media distraction.
Talib graciously offered the crowd a more familiar offering and asked for song requests from the gathering masses. After an unseen person shouts “Thieves In The Night” from the 1998 collaboration album Black Star with fellow BK bomber Mos Def, Talib went into his verse with some percussion assistance from a drummer playing congas. Talib then led the crowd in a call and response chant, using inspirational words before leaving the area to a round of passionate applause.
The “Occupy Wall Street” movement began on September 17, with similar demonstrations happening around October 6 nationwide in other big cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle and Los Angeles.
Although conflicting reports about the goal of the movement abound, the primary focus has seemed to be the abolishment of corporate greed, government cronyism and attention to the jobs crisis.
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