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Video: Illegalize Brings Grade-A Live Hip-Hop To A Spike Lee Celebration In NYC

An Evening Of Film, Wine, And Music With Spike Lee

It's no secret that we at Okayplayer are ravenous fans of great live hip-hop, and New York City act Illegalize is quickly becoming one of our local favorites. Fronted by MCs Tavi Fields and Maniphes, and grounded by drummer mixtape-maker Kieran K. Meadows (peep his proper OKP apparel in the pic above), the ensemble turned out a shrewdly emotive performance last week at a Manhattan event celebrating the work of legendary director Spike Lee. The pairing, it turns out, is perfect, as Illegalize's song "Space Patrol" was recently featured in the Lee's newest film, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.

Illegalize captured their vibe-heavy original song "Whatcha Gonna Do" live on video during the event, which now offers a perfect preview of the group's tightly focused skills as a performing band. Watery rhodes melodies and a grade-A snare knock underline the track, which gives both Fields and Maniphes ample breathing room to dig deep into introspective lines. Fans of the recent relaxed-yet-rigorous Ghostface Killah/Badbadnotgood tracks will definitely find much to appreciate. Having already proved they can rock a house party with steeze, the new clip is evidence that Illegalize is ready for even more sizable stages. Watch the live clip below and stay tuned for more from this crew.