The sold out Time Travel Reunion show, inspired by the late-'90s/early-'00s radio show "Time Travel"--which aired on WNUR (89.3) and spotlighted underground hip-hop--featured Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Get Cryphy DJs and more.
Time Travel was responsible for exposing Chicago to Atmosphere and many other underground hip-hop artists. Eventually, Chicagoans wanted more than just to listen to these artists on the radio. They wanted to see them live, and Time Travel creator/host Kevin Beacham and J-Bird created the Time Travel show to feed these needs.
The show went strong for three years in a row (2001-2003) but then Beacham and J-Bird moved to Minnesota to work for Rhymesayers. Ten years later, they decided to put together the Reunion show for their followers.
According to Beacham, Atmosphere headlined every Time Travel show and Brother Ali also headlined most, so it was inevitable that they would be on this bill for this year’s show.
On Saturday night the crowd was pumping with adrenaline. I have seen this enthusiasm at every single Atmosphere show I’ve ever been to (which is quite a few). Slug and Ant know how to tear the house down, and so did the rest of the Rhymesayers crew. Grieves and Blueprint appeared as two surprise unannounced guests.
There was a lot of love and respect in the crowd, and you could tell everyone there was a long time fan of hip-hop and the Rhymesayers label.
Akbar the MC started off the show on a high note. The highlight of his performance was his song, “Started From Da Bronx N Now I'm here," which had the whole venue singing along.
When Atmosphere hit the stage, it was powerful. The crowd knew all the words to almost every single song. Highlights were "Trying to Find a Balance," "God Loves Ugly," "Guns and Cigarettes," and a really old song, "God’s Bathroom Floor." Brother Ali was singing back up for most of Atmosphere’s set--if you are a Rhymesayers fan, you know that’s one of the best hip-hop duos there could be.
The show reached its end with a 10-minute freestyle of all the performers. This was the icing on the cake. The crowd was having a blast and so were the performers.
“Anyways, I got a fucking wack hat, so you can have that,” Grieves rapped, as he threw his hat into the crowd.
The night closed with the performers and crowd singing happy birthday to J-Bird.