Legendary MC and rapper Talib Kweli, and independent Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna are two of the biggest names performing at this summer’s Takin’ It to the Streets. Talib is appearing at Streets for the first time and will be performing with Yasiin Bey (a.k.a. Mos Def) as Black Star. Yuna, who has performed at IMAN’s Community Café previously, will also be performing at Streets for the first time.
On Tuesday, May 7, both Talib and Yuna released much anticipated and awaited new music. Talib’s latest album, called Prisoner of Conscious, shows him wrestling with the legacy and meaning of the label “conscious.” In line with our belief in the power of art to inspire social change, Talib’s struggle to resist labels challenges us all to (re)consider the ways in which our communities have been labeled, boxed, and commodified. In this long-awaited release, he paints his stories on a broader musical canvass, mixing up the personal with the political, the popular with the conscious, and the upbeat with the soulful. Last month, Talib was interviewed on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered in anticipation of the album’s release. In that interview, he talked “about the roles he’s played in the shifting terrain of hip-hop, his relationship to the mainstream, and honoring old-school rap.” We are very excited to be able to bring to this Takin’ It to the Streets, Talib Kweli, a legend who continues to stay relevant!
Sixth Street, the new EP by the sensational Yuna is a follow up to her self-titled and well-received debut album from last year. The songs in this compilation exude comfort and warmth, and hearing her talk about what sparked her creativity this time explains why: “Sixth Street is probably a new chapter for me. All of the songs were written in my apartment where I’m most comfortable, and at that point I understood who I was and knew what I was feeling about life.” We are eagerly awaiting Yuna’s performance at Streets 2013. Her airy, soulful vocals are sure to soothe audiences on that warm June day!