East Coasters and Midwesterners, gear up for what is sure to be one of the best tours of the year in any genre, never mind hip-hop. Wale, K’naan and John Forte are coming to your town to tear shit up.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with these talented young men; Wale is a DC-bred rappper whose music has a touch of the local go-go sound. I first heard him on The Roots’ “Rising Down” LP. His commercial debut, “Attention: Deficit” was maybe the best hip-hop album of 2009 not called “The Blueprint 3”. I hope he comes to town with a live band, because if that’s the case then I’m sure he’ll bring the house down. K’naan released his well-received debut effort “Troubadour”, at the top of 2009. The Canada-by way of-Somalia-based artist can best be compared to fellow Canuck K-os (who has an album of his own coming out very soon), and if he’s half as good as k-os is live, then you’re in for one hell of a show.
John Forte is the O.G. of this group. The former Fugee affiliate made memorable appearances on songs like Wyclef’s “We Trying to Stay Alive” and PM Dawn’s “Gotta Be Movin’ On Up” (quiet as kept, that song’s dope). He released an underrated hip-hop flavored debut called “Poly Sci” in ’97 or ’98 before getting sent upstate on a drug charge. The album he released while on trial, “I, John” was a mature, genre-blurring work that should have reached a much larger audience than it actually did. Having had his sentence commuted by former president George W. Bush (one of the few good things Dubya ever did), Forte is making his way back into the music world while also working as a professor at New York’s City College.
Needless to say, this tour is a must see. Cop those tickets. Here are the show dates:
Mar. 31: New York City (The Fillmore at Irving Plaza)
Apr. 1: Boston (House of Blues)
Apr. 2: New Haven, Conn. (Toad’s Place)
Apr. 3: Baltimore (Ram’s Head Live)
Apr. 4: Washington D.C. (9:30 Club)
Apr. 6: Philadelphia (Trocadero)
Apr. 8: Atlanta (Center Stage)
Apr. 13: Cleveland (House of Blues)
Apr. 14: Columbus, Ohio (Newport Music Hall)