Blackalicious is back and will release its first new album in a decade. Imani, Vol. 1 will drop August 14, according to a press release. Here’s a song from that album— “On Fire Tonight,” featuring Myron (of Myron & E)—released this morning on Rollingstone.com:
Blackalicious—comprised of emcee Gift of Gab (Timothy Parker) and DJ/producer Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley), who both grew up in Sacramento—has been relatively quiet as a duo since 2005’s The Craft. But they’ve each been busy individually: Xcel worked with soul singer Ledisi and RV Salters from General Eletriks. Gab released three solo albums, and then suffered kidney failure caused by type 1 diabetes. He’s still searching for a kidney donor.
Imani, which means “faith” in Swahili, will be the first in a planned trilogy of albums, and features Quannum Projects labelmates (and UC Davis alums) Lateef the Truthspeaker and Lyrics Born (aka Latyrx) , plus Zap Mama and Fantastic Negrito. The album’s already up for pre-order on a Pledge Music campaign, which will help raise funds to launch the record.
According to the press release, a tour is expected later in the year, but they’ve already booked a Concerts in the Park performance on May 29.
Blackalicious has also earned viral fame thanks to Daniel Radcliffe rapping their song “Alphabet Aerobics on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon back in October:
If you haven’t already, I’d personally recommend listening to the group’s first two albums, Nia (1999) and Blazing Arrow (2002), before diving into The Craft. Find out more at Blackalicious.com.