talib kweli greene twitter – Talib Kweli Tour Dates & Concerts

That’s really all you can do, I don’t think any one of us are going to end racism, that’s not a realistic goal but just because you’re not going to end racism is not at all a reason not to fight it. It’s mandatory that we combat it at all times.

talib kweli instagram – Lord Of The Light By Catch The Throne

TALIB KWELIThis interview is overdue. Even me having this conversation with you is a privilege. I’ve lived my life as an artist. There’s a lot of things that I don’t have to go through that a lot of people who are working class do not get to do. I’m a working class artist but one of the privileges of being a working class artist is I get to set my own schedule, I get to be my own boss. There’s a lot of things that I get to do that a lot of people don’t get to do. That informs my worldview in a way for me to see Lauryn Hill’s perspective a little more. But because of that I’m protective of her, as an artist. I’m protective of any artist who I feel like has given to the culture something I can’t replace or give back.

Black Star arose from the underground Hip Hop movement of the late 1990s, which was in large part due to Rawkus Records, an independent record label stationed in New York City. They released one album, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star on August 26, 1998. The record received critical acclaim, but only moderate commercial success. Black Star (and other members of the Native Tongues Posse) helped shape underground alternative rap, bringing it into the mainstream. Both Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s solo careers have continued with both commercial and critical success.

TALIB KWELI: It feels different. I mean, obviously, everybody likes nice things. And gentrification often brings, at least surface-wise, nice things to a neighborhood. As someone who has some means and has a level of privilege, I like the fact that I can order things and go to nice restaurants and bars and stuff, but gentrification also comes at a price for the people who live in the neighborhood. So you have to be cognizant of that and aware as you’re engaging in the privilege of living in a gentrified neighborhood.

TALIB KWELI: I’m extremely blessed. And my blessings come from the work. I give to the people and the people give back to me. I don’t need a hit record to go on tour. I haven’t had a hit record in years. My career’s not defined by likes or stats or hits or numbers or winning a game. My career is defined by my connection to the people. And it’s also a bit selfish. It’s selfless and selfish at the same time. I’m rewarded for speaking up for the people by the love that the people give to me. So it’s within my best interest to keep doing it.

As a duo and on wax, Black Star endures because they present as serious and politically savvy, but their execution is light and summery in all the right places. Classic albums of the same focus stand to become grating, but Black Star feels weightless in its approach.


The stuff that we had been working on was open-ended, and it was organic—who knows if we’ll ever get back to working on that. I would find it difficult working with Kanye on music right now with his position on Trump and Candace Owens and his repeating white supremacist lines on black-on-black crime and “slavery is a choice.” I love him as a man, and I love him as an artist, but I would find it difficult co-signing him right now until he walks some of that stuff back.

Kweli: This song has been out for a little bit. I filmed a video to it. A lot of my fans took exception to this record because, like you just said, the production is more sparse, and it feels more like what is going on now, which is why I released it as a single. You always want your single to be reflective of what’s going on in the culture at the time.


Kweli: As far as mainstream hip-hop? Molly. Sex, drugs. We’re in our rock ‘n’ roll phase, you know? Sex, drugs and party, party, party. That’s where it’s at in the mainstream. But you’d be fooled if you only got your hip-hop from the mainstream. One of the biggest hip-hop artists in the country right now is Macklemore, who doesn’t do anything like that. Macklemore seems like he’s coming from a sort of white, or suburban perspective, whereas I was coming from more of an inner-city perspective.

So it’s like, here’s a woman with a lifetime of listening to misogynistic hip-hop, but being conflicted and trying to figure out how she’s a feminist but still likes hip-hop, and she sees one rapper man defending another rapper man, and she saw red.

People, especially in my early career, were impressed by my knowledge that I just got from some other writer and just put it in a lyrical form. So I couldn’t even take the credit. I’m like, OK, “Thieves In the Night,” on the Black Star album, that hook is literally verbatim the last paragraph of Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye And it was like, we got props for that, but any time I get props I’m like, “Nah, that’s Toni Morrison.” So it’s definitely been a direct influence.

Black Star did not simply use melody to sugarcoat their politics. The metaphor implies their audience simply went unaware, but that could not be further from the truth. Neither rapper was hiding their ideologies, but rather, the duo found a way to make them palatable and infectious summertime tunes. The goal of Black Star was not to necessarily sneak in political meaning but to make the political approachable and enjoyable. With that, the record was imbued with an aura of soul and heart that could never sound dated, that also colored Kweli’s delivery and the mahogany timbre of the album’s soundscapes. The depth of the bass on Hater Players” felt etched into the breakbeats, and the looming keys on Thieves in the Night” gave a parlor room richness to a five-minute sermon on fighting oppression and mental fortitude.


TALIB KWELI: Actually, that whole neighborhood – I went to junior high school in that neighborhood. I grew up in Flatbush, but I went to junior high school and high school in Clinton Hills and Fort Greene. And it was problematic. It was a challenge every day to go from school to the bus station or the train station. Every day was a challenge.

He showed up at the studio with shopping bags. “You don’t need to pick a beat. I’ll make a beat right now.” And he made that “Get Em High” beat in about 15 minutes. I watched him make it. This was for the Beautiful Struggle session. And he said, “Yeah, this the beat.” And it was, like, very keyboard-y to me. I wanted something more warm and lush with samples at that time.

So I think if someone is saying that — is critical of that in a way where they don’t like it — it’s because they might be tired of what’s going on in commercial hip-hop, and they just don’t wanna hear anything that might resemble it. But I stand by my musical decision with the song because I’m looking at the culture as a whole, for all time — not just what’s going on now.

Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV’s “Drink Champs,” which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly “Drink Champs” episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.

The verses that Kendrick says are very descriptive and intricate, and the hooks are very simple. And I think that’s a Trojan horse approach to hip-hop records, whereas when Chuck D first came out, when he called hip-hop the black CNN, it was a lot more informative about what’s going on in the streets, what’s going on in the culture. Kendrick Lamar is actually an artist who does that. He created a hip-hop opera with his album, telling a first-person narrative in a musical way about, you know, growing up on the streets of Compton. He’s the rare example, but I think hip-hop is going back to that, which is why people are gravitating to an artist like him.

I did spend time in his studio earlier in the year, and we worked on a few songs together. Kanye is someone who is super famous—he’s in the stratosphere. I wouldn’t say I’m in his inner circle, but he started his career with me, and if I really need to I can get in touch with him.

TK: It depends on your personality and your lifestyle. I grew up in Brooklyn with parents who were educators and activists while being able to rap with words. Being good with words is sort of my thing and Twitter is something that lends itself to that. I enjoy having dialogue with people and I enjoy the back and forth, I really do. I wouldn’t be spending much time there if I didn’t enjoy it, but not everyone is built for that.

And it’s cliché to say do it for the culture, but I’m glad that’s a new cliché. I mean, I’m not glad it’s cliché, but I’m glad it’s a thing that people are saying, an affirmation that people are saying. Cultural currency is worth more than anything. There are rich people who are miserable. I’m not a rich man, but I’m rich in culture, and it carries me through life. The cultural currency I’ve amassed. It’s allowed me to manifest my destiny.

TALIB KWELI: So I think definitely real-life sitch-ee-ay-shuns, as they’d say on the OutKast album, helped me out. Having Amani and Deani, knowing I had to provide my family, I was like – and I loved the music, so I was like, I want to make a living – I knew back then that making a living doing what you love is true freedom. I knew that. I just had to get there.

Kweli: Yeah, certainly. My parents were professors, so there was a lot of academic influence in my household. When hip-hop became more conscious, which was considered the golden era of hip-hop from like ’87 to ’91, ’92 maybe, that was when I was in junior high school and the most impressionable. So the movement of hip-hop, which are Poor Righteous Teachers and your X-Clans, was coinciding with what I was learning in my house. Spike Lee — I went to Brooklyn Tech High School. Spike Lee had Spike’s Joint across the street. He was making a Malcolm X movie. You’d go into Spike’s Joint, it’d be all Malcolm X gear and stuff, so all that was coming together for me.

All of this set the stage very well for The Beautiful Struggle , which dropped in fall 2004. The expectations for the album were high because of the Jay-Z rhyme, and also because a great many hip-hop disciples felt Kweli was long overdue for a commercial breakthrough. The album was undoubtedly his most commercial effort to date, featuring a few radio-ready hook singers like Mary J. Blige and Anthony Hamilton , not to mention a roster of hitmaking producers like the Neptunes , Just Blaze , and Kanye Kweli subsequently split from his distributor, Universal, and lowered his profile for a bit, releasing a stopgap mixtape, Right About Now (2005), via Koch.

Also performing: Gritty N’ Craft, Pat App, Ill HD, Woogie, 1996 Montana, Ali Buckets, AmeriKKKen, Zion Se7en, Sedcairn Archives, Section Leaders, DJ Limelight, John Kelley, FoxD’Legnd, Dead Silence, Zo Dussé, Slot-A, Distinct, El Dirty AC, C-Lunch, Mickey Young, Lowkey Laurice, Joey French, Pak, Really Ralph, Swvng Gang, Christian Taelor, Trip Skylark, Paper Cleveland, Yadin Kol, Casp3r the Dopest Ghost, David Peck, Defame, DoLa, The Klinik, Niko Flores, DJ Boogie Bang, DJ OhBeOne, DJ 76Vette, DJ Lock, Maxx Alexander and DJ Drop the Name.

Kweli: Me and my son, liking the same music, it makes us almost part of the same generation. My son was introduced to hip-hop through me, so his first hip-hop was KRS-One. Those were his favorite rappers. KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane were his favorite. And he didn’t like Drake or Lil’ Wayne until he went to high school. Then he was like, “Oh, these guys are not that bad.” But he had to get around his peer group and discover his own hip-hop. He was just liking what he heard from me. Not to say that I didn’t like those guys but, you know, I played the music from my generation a lot more.

Kweli: Miguel is someone who — his initial records before he had big, huge radio records were features with underground hip-hop artists; a real lyrical hip-hop artist. He did records with Wale and before they became more popular artists, and I felt like he would understand my style.

In the summer of 2004, Kweli also performed at Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (both as a solo act and as one half of Black Star) and he was later featured in the film and soundtrack. A lot of fans can feel so helpless, but it is encouraging that people like you and Dave are sending him love and facts.

TALIB KWELI: It feels different. I mean, obviously, everybody likes nice things. And gentrification often brings, at least surface-wise, nice things to a neighborhood. As someone who has some means and has a level of privilege, I like the fact that I can order things and go to nice restaurants and bars and stuff, but gentrification also comes at a price for the people who live in the neighborhood. So you have to be cognizant of that and aware as you’re engaging in the privilege of living in a gentrified neighborhood.

TALIB KWELI: I’m extremely blessed. And my blessings come from the work. I give to the people and the people give back to me. I don’t need a hit record to go on tour. I haven’t had a hit record in years. My career’s not defined by likes or stats or hits or numbers or winning a game. My career is defined by my connection to the people. And it’s also a bit selfish. It’s selfless and selfish at the same time. I’m rewarded for speaking up for the people by the love that the people give to me. So it’s within my best interest to keep doing it.

As a duo and on wax, Black Star endures because they present as serious and politically savvy, but their execution is light and summery in all the right places. Classic albums of the same focus stand to become grating, but Black Star feels weightless in its approach.

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