Talib Kweli is featured on this weekend’s Soul Train, and during the taping last month, he chatted with SoulTrain.com. Asked how he feels on how he’s changed with his new album ‘Quality’, Talib says, “Things that have changed in my new project is I have more resources and more experience. I know more about making music, I know more about the game, so you’re gonna hear those changes reflected in my album. But as far as what I come with spiritually, emotionally, content-wise it hasn’t changed at all.”
Errol Nazareth of the Toronto Eye spoke with Talib Kweli and asked him what he thinks about the lack of political voices in hip hop. “Artists are writing those songs. It’s the media and the corporations who are suppressing these songs and messages.” He cited The Roots and Blackalicious and says “major corporations haven’t represented hip-hop positively.”
Mos Def and Talib Kweli performed a Wednesday-night benefit show that reunited the Black Star duo at S.O.B.’s. Isaac Guzman of the New York Daily News writes, “Wednesday night showed that their talents are strongest when the two are paired. Kweli’s sharp, rapid flow provided contrast to Mos Def’s laid-back melodicism. While Kweli delivered rhymes filled with searing images, Mos Def countered with warm entreaties to spread love, including his mother, Umi’s, maxim to ‘Shine your light on the world.'”
Though Talib Kweli is discouraged by marketing strategies that rely upon cookie-cutter formulas, he remains encouraged that real-life aspects are seeping back into hip-hop and forcing labels to rethink bling bling and gangsta imagery. “When you keep it so real that all you’re doing is killing people, all you’re doing is selling drugs, all you’re doing is riding around on 24s, that’s not reality anymore,” Kweli told MTV News. “It becomes a caricature of itself, it eats itself. It’s like, ‘OK, now I don’t believe you anymore.’ Before I didn’t believe MC Hammer — ‘It’s all good and let’s just dance’ — and now I don’t believe you. And so when that happens, the real true artists are going to, once again, keep it real and express the realities of their lives, whether it’s a Nas or a Snoop or a Jay-Z or an Eminem.” Read more.
Rap acts on talk television this week include Talib Kweli on Last Call with Carson Daly on Monday, while Clipse performs on Carson’s show on Tuesday. Meanwhile, MTV’s Total Request Live welcomes Busta Rhymes on Monday.
Fat Joe and Talib Kweli have added their names to the hat of those in hip hop asking for Trent Lott to step down after his controversial remarks that many have deemed racist, despite repeated apologies. “It’s a real big kick in the face to minorities,” Fat Joe said. “You would think he would be fired or would have to step down. What’s real surprising to me is Bush actually endorsed him and said that he doesn’t need to resign.” Talib added, “If you thought that Trent Lott wasn’t a racist or wasn’t a prejudiced person, you’re just a fool. Everything in his political record points to that. The issue is not whether or not he’s racist — that’s obvious. The issue is that he got caught saying it. No one’s asking him to recant his beliefs, no one is shocked about what he said. I think people are shocked that he allowed himself to get caught. I think his apology is not for what he said, I think he’s apologizing because he realized he’s a fool for getting caught.” Read more.
AllHipHop.com caught up with Talib Kweli and asked the rapper how he felt when Common called ‘Reflection Eternal’ the new Gang Starr. “It made me feel great. But on one hand, Gang Starr is still here,” he said. “So, we don’t need a new Gang Starr yet. But I understood what he meant. Common is my favorite artist, so it’s like a real compliment.”
Final numbers are in from Hits Daily Double and Eminem’s ‘8 Mile’ soundtrack gets the #3 spot, enough to beat out the Ja Rule debut at #4 with ‘The Last Temptation’ — selling 225,361 copies for the week. Jay-Z’s album took a big tumble from #1 to #7, while Missy Elliott dropped from #3 to #8 and ‘The Eminem Show’ dropped to #10. Talib Kweli debuted in the #21 spot despite getting virtually no promo. Shania Twain topped the charts.
Ross Tiefenthaler of the Yale Daily News reviewed the solo debut from Talib Kweli giving ‘Quality’ good marks. “‘Quality’ is technically Kweli’s first solo release, and Hi-Tek’s name is notably absent from the production credits,” Tiefenthaler said. “Nonetheless, the production on the album is consistently stellar, thanks to beatmasters like Kanye West and Jay Dee. The beats have a more organic, instrumental sound, unlike the mechanical, mass-produced clank of popular rap. But Kweli’s lyrics are what make ‘Quality’ so captivating.” Read more.
Talib Kweli spoke with Katrillion about his new album ‘Quality’ which he says is exactly that, quality. “Some people in the industry focus on quantity and I chose to focus on quality,” he said. ‘Quality’ hits stores on Tuesday (November 19).