Rating: NNNN It was depressing to discover that Blackalicious's brilliant last album, The Craft, only sold 54,000 copies at a time.
It was depressing to discover that Blackalicious’s brilliant last album, The Craft, only sold 54,000 copies at a time when even no-talent D-list celeb runoff like Kevin Federline and Brooke Hogan can move that much and more in a week. This DVD of their April 20, 2006, Seattle show demonstrates that Blackalicious, one of the tightest groups in hiphop, deliver a live experience to match. A big part of it is Gift of Gab’s impressive flow and breath control, for instance as he breezes through a lyrical torrent of scientific terms on Chemical Calisthenics, over a variety of high-speed tempos and time signatures. Blackalicious also freshen up Deception with an R&B-icized rendering. Lateef the Truthspeaker shines on Lady Don’t Tekno, as does Pigeon John on the stomping Side To Side. Informative talking-head interview clips with Gab and Chief Xcel interspersed throughout 4/20 fill out the Blackalicious backstory.