BY DEV GILLESPIE
Talib Kweli serves all the real music lovers with authentic lyrics and truths through his music that stick with you, but if it’s too raw it might go over your head! As an artist if you don’t “LOVE,MUSIC” and believe in what you do then we won’t either and Talib Kweli is one who can school you all year ’round. Born in Brooklyn and being brought up in an educated household gave Talib Kweli the right combination of street smarts and intellect to be able to create what we love: Hip Hop.
Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star jumped off Talib’s earlier career with Mos Def and DJ Hi-Tek. When asked which of his albums meant the most to him there was no question about it. Talib tells us, “Black Star, because it was the first.” When Talib Kweli and Mos Def shortly went in separate directions he put out Train of Thought with DJ Hi-Tek and this album along with Black Star received critical acclaim, yet modest sales. Starting to venture in a solo career Talib came with Quality hoping to give just that to his fans. The album did well with producers like KanYe West and DJ Quik. Soon after he started to receive more main stream attention from the album it didn’t take Talib Kweli long to start giving back. Linking back up with Mos Def, the two contributed to an album created by the Red Hot Organization that raised money for various charities for AIDS Awareness.
As a mentor of music after school programs, we asked Talib Kweli how important he felt it was to keep music in academic school programs. He responds, “Music is our most precious natural resource. It teaches us how to express and celebrate. Without music, we cannot live.” He goes on to say, “My children like good music because that’s what they are exposed to. My kids are into Trey Songz, Lil Wayne and Drake, but they are also into KRS One, Big Daddy Kane, Michael Jackson and Nina Simone.”
With the New Year just beginning, we are all recapping who was the hottest in to 2010 and who will shine in 2011. When asked Talib Kweli tells us in his opinion the hottest album in 2010 was Reflection Eternal’s Revolutions Per Minute the duo’s follow up to Train of Thought. Talib Kweli later goes on to say “Jean Grae, Strong Arm Steady, Res, Bjork, KanYe, the Roots, and Wu Tang are also in my playlist.”
Wrapping up the interview with Talib Kweli it is obvious that you really do have to “LOVE,MUSIC” and respect the talented in order to keep real music alive. This year Talib Kweli plans on giving the game what it’s been missing and sheds a little advice.
FBM: How will you be starting your New Year off musically?
Talib Kweli: In the New Year, I will be focused on the release of Gutter Rainbows. I will be releasing three albums, maybe four in 2011. I am working on Prisoner of Conscious, Liberation 2, also look out for my Idle Warship album with Res, Strong Arm Steady’s Arms and Hammers and Jean Grae’s Cake or Death.
FBM: Female MC’s, Beef, The change in the music industry? What’s your advice?
Talib Kweli: Competition is great. Beef is silly, but I really like Nicki Minaj. The world is awaiting Jean Grae though. There is no more music business. Indie is the only thing left.
Gutter Rainbows drops January 25th digitally only. Be sure to cop your copy via iTunes.