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Cali Rap Vets Blackalicious Serve Up Another Funk Bomb with "Blacka"

Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel celebrate heroes of African history.

As Cali indie rap veterans Blackalicious prepare Imani, Vol. 1, their first proper group album since 2005's The Craft, we've got a fresh new track off it in "Blacka," an early highlight showcasing Gift of Gab's enduring lyrical dexterity and beatsmith Chief Xcel's groovy, subtly inventive soundscapes. Chief chops up a rant from dub legend Lee Perry over a fat funk lick, and Gift thunders through a series of affirmations and celebrations of exceptional blackness throughout history, namechecking hip-hop and civil rights greats and more. ("I am the seat on the bus that Rosa Parks was sittin' in / I am Timbuktu, they wanna keep me hidden.")

Imani, Vol. 1 is out September 18th via OGM Recordings. Preorder the new album here and receive an instant download of another new cut called "The Blowup." Stream "Blacka" and check out tour dates below.

Aug 11 - Orlando, FL @ The Social
Aug 12 - St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theater
Aug 13 - Jacksonville Beach, FL @ Freebird Live
Aug 15 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
Aug 16 - Charleston, SC @ The Pour House
Aug 18 - Washington, DC @ Howard Theatre
Aug 20 - New York, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl
Aug 23 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Aug 25 - Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
Aug 26 - South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
Aug 28 - Toronto, Canada @ Lee's Palace
Aug 29 - Buffalo, NY @ Studio at Waiting Room
Aug 30 - Pittsburgh, PA @ The Altar Bar
Sept 01 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig
Sept 03 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
Sept 04 - St Louis, MO @ 2720 Cherokee
Sept 05 - Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre
Sept 06 - Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
Sept 10 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
Sept 11 - Orangevale, CA @ The Boardwalk
Sept 12 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
Sept 15 - West Hollywood, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
Sept 18 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
Sept 20 - Flagstaff, AZ @ Orpheum Theater Flagstaff
Sept 24 - Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
Sept 26 - Portland, OR @ Star Theater
Sept 27 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos

Craig has been studying up on his chemical calisthenics. Follow him on Twitter.