Formed in 1992 by Timothy Parker and Xavier Mosley, better known as Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel, Blackalicious emerged as a force to be reckoned with. The pairing of Gab’s lyrical prowess and Xcel’s knack for all things beat, left many a mouth agape and ready for the release of 1994’s Melodica. With the heavy impact of the first release, it was easy to be nervous about what was about to happen. As with many debuts, listeners are slapped across the face only to be left limp and, frankly, bored with the follow-up. Five years later with Nia and A2G escaping the headphones of many, it was clear Blackalicious was not some flash in the pan. The boys were here for good.
Here we are, almost 20 years later in the town where it all started. A handful of singles, EP’s and even a DVD later, Blackalicious was soon to take the stage at Harlow’s. After an opening set by Who Cares, the attendees who were once scattered between bars, seated at one of the tables left over from the show earlier in the evening (or just hangin’ out) started to mosey on over to the stage to get a slice of prime real estate – just enough walking to get the blood moving and muscles warmed up for the next hour of revelry.
Opening up the set with Alphabet Aerobics, the show started off with more than a bang. It wasn’t just an anthem to get everyone moving, it was a “hey, we’re already three miles into this, so catch up!”. Playing songs off Blazing Arrow, The Craft, and the much loved A2G, the show was a hit. Gab’s mixture of talent and humbleness, along with the atmosphere and vibe of the entire group, lead to the ultimate in artist to fan cohesiveness. Concluding a much applauded encore, the group shared some personal news, much like that of a birth of a new child. People prepare yourself…a new Blackalicious album later this year!
Words/Photos Jenny Price