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In The Flesh 

Slum Village & Kool Keith
Friday, Jan. 13

BB King's Blues Club, New York City

Slum Village won over the crowd rather effortlessly in New York City late Friday night. Sharing the bill with Kool Keith — Slum (T3 and Elzhi), bedecked in matching Tigers garb, delivered a strong set featuring a mix of raw lyricism and crowd-tested faves.

Located in the hyper-advertising purgatory commonly called Times Square, BB King's continues to feature some of the city's premier hip-hop and reggae shows, even if the club is surrounded by flocks of pastel tourists and an imposing neon-laced Applebee's across the street.

Elzhi's flow was flawless as he ripped through "Can I Be Me," followed with a highlight-reel performance of his verse from "Hiding Place" off Little Brother's The Minstrel Show.

The crowd lost some of its buzz when T3 brought Dwele out for "Tainted" and "Call Me." It didn't help that Dwele forgot "Tainted" lyrics as he crooned in front of a cluster of groupies.

The set climaxed when T3 and Elzhi traded verses on "1, 2" — the crowd hung on to each spitted line. "Selfish" also got heavy applause; T3 and Elzhi delivered Kanye's self-appreciative lyrics better than he ever could himself.

The Manhattan crowd got a good representation of SV's live show and a taste of their latest — and nationally slept-on — album. This despite a slightly muffled sound system, Dwele's lyrical gaffe and a fistfight on the floor at the end of SV's set.

Braden Ruddy writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

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