Live hip-hop is by definition a risky endeavor — it's really hard to get the mixing and the timing right — and live hip-hop on a late-night TV show is even more likely to go off the rails in a soupy or shouty, amateurish disaster. But apparently not so if you're Del the Funky Homosapien, Dan the Automator, Kid Koala, and the vast orchestra Deltron 3030 brought on Late Night with David Letterman last night to perform “City Rising From the Ashes,” off the new, long-anticipated album Event II. Somehow this massive, Bay Area-heavy group — which seemed to overflow the space set aside for it in Letterman's studio — performed the grandiose tune just right, with the dramatic brass flourishes and Del's serpentine rhymes occupying an ideal place in the mix. Of course all that wouldn't matter if it wasn't a good song, but (good news!) it is. Check it out above.
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