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Concert Review : Robert Glasper, Black Radio : A Hip Hop 50 Celebration

Talented musician Robert Glasper brought the spirit of Hip-Hop to Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia, on Saturday, September 9th when he performed a show titled Black Radio: A Hip Hop 50 Celebration. A pentamerous of MC's joined Mr. Glasper on stage, including Cordae, Common, Lupe Fiasco, T3 (of Slum Village), and Rapsody.

The evening began with a warm-up set from DJ Jahi Sundance, who delighted the audience with an eclectic mix of music. Although it was a Hip-Hop concert, I was surprised that DJ Sundance didn't showcase any turntable abilities. Nonetheless, his choice of songs was excellent and kept the crowd dancing.

The first MC to take the stage was T3 (of Slum Village). I remember the notable hits from Slum Village, such as "Selfish," "Tainted," and "Disco," but T3 avoided performing these songs. T3 did take it back to the group's unofficial first album, Fan-Tas-Tic (Vol. 1), for his closing song, "The Look of Love," for which Glasper assisted the keys.

Next up was Rapsody, who has collaborated with Glasper on numerous occasions. She began her set with the provocative song "F*ck Yo' Expectation" and was joined on stage by Baby Rose. Glasper then shared a story about his initial encounter with Rapsody while working on the critically acclaimed album "To Pimp a Butterfly" by Kendrick Lamar. This recollection ideally introduced Rapsody's performance of her verse from "Complexion (A Zulu Love), "featured on the same album. Rapsody concluded her set with a medley of classic Hip Hop covers.

Although I wasn't familiar with his music, Cordae's impressive stage presence and lyrical ability left a lasting impression on the audience, exuding a sense of wisdom beyond his years. Due to logistical difficulties, Cordae was running behind, so he cut into the next act, Lupe Fisaco's stage time.

As Lupe took the stage for his brief set, the audience erupted into a deafening round of applause. While a few of his more well-known tracks, including "Superstar," "I Gotcha," and "Daydreamin," didn't make the setlist, the live renditions of "Hip Hop Saved My Life," "Dumb It Down," and "Kick Push" more than made up for it. The energy and passion infused into each performance left the crowd buzzing with excitement long after the show had ended.

Chicago-based MC Common closed out the show, performing audience favorites such as "I Used to Love H.E.R," "The Light," "The People," and "Love Of My Life". I hadn't seen Common live in over a decade, so he showed he still knows how to rock a party.

"Robert Glasper's Black Radio: A Hip Hop 50 Celebration" solidified why Glasper is one of the best musicians in the game. I look forward to seeing him anytime he's in the DMV.

Final Grade B+


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