Reviews \

Talib Kweli and Mos Def Reign Extreme at ICER AIR

SAN FRANCISCO: Surrounded by a transplanted, metropolitan snowfield, and extreme sports fanatics aplenty, the seminal rappers get fans dancing.

The steady flow of eight-dollar beers and florescent-coloredenergy drinks would have made a seniors golf championship seem like agood time. OK, that’s probably a stretch, but that perfectly measuredupper/downer concoction did keep the crowd’s energy level in the redfor nearly 12 hours at this year’s Esurance ICER AIR event at SanFrancisco’s AT&T Park.

The two-day event, co-sponsored by Spin,transformed the Giants’ home field into a playground of the extremevariety, a towering man-made ski slope serving as its centerpiece,running from the top of the center-field scoreboard down to the middleof the infield grass. Now in its third year, ICER AIR brought a largeand mixed crowd of hipsters, extreme sportos, families, B-Boys andB-Girls on Saturday (Nov. 3) — some obviously more interested in themotocross, skating and snowboarding than in the nocturnal activities.But, there were many who stuck it out all day, and with plenty of juiceleft for the impressive double bill of hip-hop soul brothers Mos Defand Talib Kweli. Armed with a DJ and two female backup singers, Kwelikicked things off with “I Try” (originally featuring Mary J. Blige)from 2004’s The Beautiful Struggle,and kept the crowd engaged with some can’t-go-wrong call and response.It took a little longer than expected for Mos Def to join him onstage,as the two revisited 1998’s critically lauded LP Black Star,with a rendition of album gem “Respiration.” The song segued into Def’sset, which mixed politically bent hip-hop with danceable soul. It wasimpressive. But more impressive was the fact that even his a capella”Brightest of Stars” had people dancing in the grass.

We asked: Who would win a lyrical beef between Mos Def and Talib Kweli?