We're pleased to present the British rapper/spoken word artist/playwright on her first American tour.
Few are the lyricists who cite as influences the collected works of William Blake, W.B. Yeats and the Wu-Tang Clan. Fewer combine them with such fearless skill. Like the poet-hyphenates rapper Saul Williams, post-punker John Cooper Clarke, reggae toaster Linton Kwesi Johnson and punk rocker Smith, Tempest hit that sweet spot between oral storyteller and word percussionist. She rapped her ideas with a punch that when intertwined with her musicians created something epic.
She did it to a series of rhythms that merged British grime, American hip-hop, instrumental beat music and Jamaican dancehall. The studio versions sound tame in comparison; it's hard to appreciate Tempest's skills without experiencing the whole package, with beats as voluminous as her throat.
Her performances at South by Southwest left the staff of NPR's "All Songs Considered" and writers from Wired and The New York Times among others. Richard Whittaker of The Austin Chronicle wrote, "Her lyrics slice and demolish hard enough, making her the vanguard of Britain’s burgeoning urban wordsmith scene, skating between commercially successful rap and critically lauded poetry."
Tempest first made her mark as a poet, and her book-length poem Brand New Ancients won her the Ted Hughes Award for poetry in 2013, and her debut album, 2014's Everybody Down was a finalist for the UK Mercury Prize for best album in 2014. She will play One Eyed Jacks on June 1, and we're pleased to present the show. We'll have more on the show as it approaches, and we hope we'll see you there.