Blackalicious is Gift of Gab (Timothy Parker) and Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley) and the duo's long awaited fifth studio album – Imani Vol. 1 will finally be available in September 2015. Ten years after The Craft Blackalicious brings us the Imani Movement. Imani, the word for faith in Swahili is a three volume series. Three years in the works, this album stays true to the wordplay of Gift of Gab and the clever mechanics of live instruments and production from Chief Xcel. The Sac-Town duo has never left. Between Gab releasing three solo albums and Xcel working with soul singer Ledisi, collaborating with General Eletriks and many others, they were ready and eager to start the next Blackalicious chapter. Gift of Gab explains, "In 2012, we came together like ‘Okay, it's time to go back to the mothership. I equate working with different artists to travel...when you come back to your city after traveling to these other places, you have this broader perspective of what life is. I think that that's what happened with Blackalicious."
Instrumental version of Imani, Vol. 1, the fourth studio album and first in a decade by the critically-lauded hip hop duo. Ten years after 2005's The Craft comes Blackalicious' self-release, Imani, Vol. 1. Three years in the works, the album stays true to rapper Gift of Gab's clever tongue-twisting wordplay and DJ/producer Chief Xcel's unique beats. First volume of a trilogy with appearances from Lifesavas, Lateef, Lyrics Born, funk band Monophonics, polyphonic Afro-Pop singer Zap Mama, and Fantastic Negrito who won a performance on NPR's Tiny Desk. Like a few other West Coast rap acts, including the Pharcyde and Jurassic 5, Blackalicious has generally favored what hip-hoppers call the "positive tip"; in other words, it's lyrics have often been spiritual and uplifting rather than violent or misogynous. Like a lot of experimental alternative rappers, Blackalicious can be quirky and eccentric; nonetheless, spirituality is a big part of the group's music.
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