Fans of traditional New Orleans jazz may already be familiar with the Soul Rebels. Performing every Thursday in their hometown, the band formed in the early ’90s and has since exploded into an international touring sensation, sharing their unique approach to brass band repertoire with millions of people around the world. Known for their seamless incorporation of everything from Heavy Metal to old school Hip-Hop, the Soul Rebels have collaborated with Metallica, Mobb Deep’s Prodigy, Slick Rick, Styles P, Maceo Parker, and countless others representing a cornucopia of genres. The band has had such success in bringing their sound to cities outside of Louisiana that they recently secured a three-night residency at New York City’s Brooklyn Bowl, where they brought along some megawatt guests including Joey Bada$$, Rakim, and Talib Kweli. The joint performances were not the first time such an artistic merger took place, but these recent performances signaled a historic series of events that have been captured on film, and the result is magical.
Seeing the one and only Rakim perform “Paid in Full” with the accompaniment of a full band is not only invigorating, but it’s nearly impossible not to get hyped up, even if watching from the comfort of a couch. Happening just a few days after announcing that he will be performing Paid in Full live at the legendary B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in Times Square, the God MC’s set with the Soul Rebels also included Kweli, who rejoined the band for a set with Joey Bada$$ and New Orleans Bounce icon Big Freedia in a of Kweli’s “Get By.”