Watching Talib Kweli continue to grind so feverishly this far into his career is an amazing experience.
Last summer I watched Talib play a free show at Rough Trade NYC. He blasted through freestyles, danced over classic tracks, and shared tracks off his (then new) record Gravitas. In his live performance, Kweli rightfully commanded the respect of a legendary emcee without detaching from the crowd. That contrast was an accurate embodiment of his rap moniker meaning “wise student”.
Since then I wondered what direction Talib would take his next LP. Following him on Facebook and Twitter made me privy to rich comments on race and politics that I hoped would find their way into his music. Some call it preachy, but Talib retorts on this record they only call him preachy when the preaching is directed to them.
Kweli takes 9th Wonder’s always lovely, soulful production and uses it as a sandbox for a gang of the strongest underground kings. It’s a fantastic project and you can tell everyone involved gave all they could to the project. Centering around issues of politics, race, with just enough time set aside for ruthless mic control. The album has been made available for streaming on their soundcloud below, but make sure to take to iTunes to purchase and support these artists.
Art by your homie Arthur Banach
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