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Concert Review : The Rakim & DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ravi Coltrane Project @ The Kennedy Center

On Friday, April 19th, the Kennedy Center hosted an exciting collaboration between three legendary musicians - The Rakim & DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ravi Coltrane Project. This event brought together the "God MC," a renowned rapper and a critically acclaimed Grammy®-nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. The musicians melded their unique styles and influences for an epic evening of music backed by a live band. Hip Hop was alive and well during this unforgettable performance.

The legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff set the electrifying atmosphere of the night with his mind-blowing DJ set. The crowd was immediately captivated and couldn't resist moving their feet to the beats. Those familiar with Jeff's music know he has a unique talent for blending an original song with the hip-hop classic that inspired it. The highlights of the night included hearing Black Rob's "Whoa," Talib Kweli's "The Blast," and De La Soul's "Stakes Is High," all mixed with their original inspirations. The fusion of classics and contemporary hip-hop was a treat for music lovers.

As Jeff's set began to wind down, Ravi Coltrane showed off his saxophone skills by playing in sync with the songs that Jeff was mixing. The duo's musical union was the perfect set-up for the GOD MC to take the stage next. Dressed in black and commanding the stage with a boisterous spirit, Rakim was welcomed with an abundance of love from the crowd.

Since making his debut in 1986, Rakim has been considered by many to be a hip-hop G.O.A.T.

Alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff, offering robust support throughout his performance. Rakim brought to life his iconic tracks, including "In The Ghetto," "Microphone Fiend," "Follow the Leader," "Don't Sweat the Technique," "I Ain't No Joke," and "My Melody." Additionally, he made sure to include his verse from "Addicted "Mahogany" and "What's On Your Mind," charmingly dedicated to all the women in the crowd.

At a time when real hip-hop is arguably a dying art form, it's always refreshing to see artists from the Golden Age bring their A-Game on stage.

Final Grade: B+

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