Talib Kweli and Ozomatli Face Off in Red Bull SoundClash

October 29, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Aida Ahmed
aahmed@smu.edu

East Coast challenged West Coast Thursday night at the Palladium Ballroom in Downtown Dallas when the rhymes of Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli and the Rhythm Roots AllStars met the East Los Angeles vibe of the band Ozomatli.

The concert was set to start at 10 p.m. and the ballroom quickly filled up. The artists kept the crowd waiting as they squeezed in some last minute practice backstage and caught game two of the World Series in the green room.

Ozomatli appeared excited about facing Kweli in the SoundClash, but they are no stranger to performing on the same stage. Kweli and Ozomatli have previously worked together but this is the first time they competed against each other.

“Ozomatli, ya that’s the homies,” Kweli said. “You know we go on tour all the time. I know them well.”

Still, Ozomatli’s saxophone player Ulises Bella was determined to beat Kweli in the SoundClash.

“We don’t need luck, yo!” Bella said.

Ulises Bella talks about the Ozomatli’s style and working with Talib Kweli.

Backstage with Ozomatli at the Red Bull SoundClash from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Fans were unaware that they were in for an extra performance by Houston rapper Bun B, who was there supporting both acts backstage before the show.

Houston rapper Bun B was there supporting both acts backstage before the show, leaving fans unaware that he planned to perform.

“I’m here in Dallas supporting the homie Talib Kweli,” said Bun B, who has hosted a few Red Bull MC battles. “I’m a big fan of Ozomatli. Never seen them play live before because usually when they were playing at South By South West I was playing at the same time. This will be my first time to really see them do their thing.”

Talib Kweli talks about what fans can expect to hear from “Gutter Rainbows” and “Prisoner of Consciousness,” two albums he’s currently working on.

Talib Kweli Talks Backstage About His Next Two Albums from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

The audience was sandwiched between two stages facing each other for the contest and both acts took turns performing. Ozomatli got the crowd dancing to some of their hit songs in Spanish and Kweli encouraged the audience to put their cell phones and lighters in the air as he performed songs like “I Try” and “Get By.”

Both sets gave it all they had in a back-to-back music battle, but the crowd went wild in the last tie-breaking round when Kweli brought Bun B. on stage to perform Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin.”

The performance secured Kweli’s win for the SoundClash battle. Afterward, concert goers literally danced the night away.