talib kweli greene – Riders Against The Storm Tickets Antone’s Nightclub Austin, TX September 6th, 2019

I’m spending a lot more time hanging out with my actor friends, trying to do different film stuff. A year later, July 4, 1996, as me and her are walking around the African Street Festival while she’s pregnant, nine months, with Amani.

talib kweli twitter ados – #KweliClub

TALIB KWELIFollowing Kanye West ‘s latest Twitter rant yesterday (Oct. FRANNIE: Yeah. All this stuff that was subterranean before and is so much in our faces, it’s – it’s such a fulfilling feeling that it’s here, like, this moment is here, that we can talk about it out loud, but it’s also horrifying and overwhelming. Yeah. And it makes a lot of sense that a Black Star show would be sold out in this day and age.

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.


I enjoy the back and forth, even if it gets negative, because I have a degree of positivity in what I’m trying to do that I can combat negativity. Sometimes people criticize the amount of time I spend on Twitter and I see why people don’t understand it but what I don’t understand is how we can live most of our lives online at this point. We have Uber, Lyft, Grubhub, Amazon Prime and all these things. We’re buying tickets from Travelocity to go places, we’re doing everything online. When it comes to facing down hatred or bigotry, it’s organized to destabilize and impact our political conversation and ultimately our lifestyle.

On December 31, 2006, Kweli released nine songs he recorded with underground producer Madlib for free download in conjunction with the web site for Stones Throw Records , the label to which Madlib is signed. 20 21 The album was entitled Liberation , of which Kweli states in an interview with XXL Magazine that releasing the album was liberating to him.

TALIB KWELI: Is for them. TALIB KWELI: Shout out to Hi-Tek He’s brilliant. TALIB KWELI: Shout out to Rashid. That’s one of my favorite people in the world. But yeah, Kanye, he saw something. He sees things, and he’s always done that. He’s always seen things ahead of time.

TALIB KWELI: Nah, that’s – the onus is on me. You don’t want to be a conscious lyrical miracle spiritual rapper that’s so deep that your songs are no fun. TALIB KWELI: Right. ALI: What is it that is your motivation to continue to make music? Cause you’ve been doing this – you a veteran. You’ve been doing it for a long time.

After nearly 20 years of releasing mesmerizing music, Talib Kweli stands as one of the world’s most talented and most accomplished Hip Hop artists. Whether working with Mos Def as one-half of Black Star, partnering with producer Hi-Tek for Reflection Eternal, releasing landmark solo material or collaborating with Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Just Blaze, J Dilla, or Madlib, Kweli commands attention by delivering top-tier lyricism, crafting captivating stories and showing the ability to rhyme over virtually any type of instrumental.

TALIB KWELI: The job is on me to make the song dope enough. That’s the challenge really, and that’s why I’m drawn to that challenge. The most challenging thing as a musician is to make music about sobering, deep, not fun, depressing things that no one wants to talk about and put it in a song format that when people hear the song, they feel uplifted. That to me, it’s hard to do. That’s why people don’t do it. And so, if I gotta explain to you what I was trying to do with a song, I didn’t do my job.

From Obama to Donald Trump, there’s been a shift in our country where people who were claiming the country was post-racial because they voted for Obama are now realizing they really have deep-seated racial things in their minds that they’ve really wanted to express. Trump allows them to express it, and it’s being played out I think with artists in general.

There’s this Saturday Night Live skit that I love. This was like a bunch of white people in an office who just discovered Beyoncé was black when she performed at the Super Bowl. They were like, “Oh my god, she’s black.” And it’s because these artists have always been black. They’ve always expressed cultural awareness and love for blackness in their music, but because they’re not saying it, they’re not saying, “I’m black,” like how a lot of rappers from our generation said it, a lot of people come in and they’re now being surprised.

It’s 1998. Hip-hop is in crisis. Carry on as before and be destroyed, or forge a new path in which culture, intelligence and unity take precedence over beefs and disses, tribalism and chaos? The two previous years had seen the murders of two icons of the music, both young leaders that fans looked up to. Those fans needed heroes to follow, and a lifestyle to emulate, perhaps. But the lifestyles of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls had ultimately led nowhere. They were admired – worshipped, even – and had achieved much in short lifetimes. But they were martyrs to what? These voices were assumed to be representing their generation, but the way they represented it was grim: like so many other young black males in America, they saw the inside of prison cells and died in senseless street violence. It was time for a change of direction. Such things were among the concerns of Mos Def and Talib Kewli when they began recording together. They were Black Star.

So same way Public Enemy and KRS did for kids from outside of black culture, it became informative. That’s what a Kendrick does now. That’s what a Chance the Rapper does now. But it’s interesting, because even a Beyoncé , she grew as an artist, and she decided to start doing things that came across as more socially aware like her Super Bowl performance and choosing to look like a Black Panther and stuff, people got really really upset.

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.

TALIB KWELI: Not for Black Star and not until now with the social media thing. I mean, I equate it to Public Enemy. Public Enemy is blacker than Black Star I think. And I remember when Public Enemy was the number one biggest, highest-selling rap group in the world. I mean, they were super pop, and Chuck D was like, “I’m a follower of Farrakhan. Don’t tell me that you understand.” That’s a super, super pop group. They got the S1Ws. They out there really making songs like “Anti-N Machine.” They kept it really, really, really, really Pro-Black, but if you keep it honest, the people who are about solidarity and the people who are about art can see it and understand it.

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, a rapper known for eight solo albums as well as collaborations with Mos Def, Kanye West and Hi-Tek, headlines a 70-act lineup announced today by organizers. ALI: I was going to say Black Star is just good, period. The end.

So I just was like a fly on the wall, watching this album, which is – it’s a brilliant album, by the way. It picks up where y’all left off. It’s futurist but it’s retro at the same time, and it’s like, man, I couldn’t believe my blessings. I just was like, “I must be doing something right in life to be in this moment.” And the idea that they would ask me to be on it. Oh my god.


That hands-on approach carries over to Kweli’s Summer Soulstice Tour, which will make a stop at Skully’s on Monday, Aug. 26. Normally, a Columbus promoter would get in touch with Kweli to book the show, but this time the rapper took it upon himself to nail down the gig after reaching out to local hip-hop legend J. Rawls, who worked with Black Star on its seminal album and runs Polar Entertainment.

TALIB KWELI: At the end of the day, I try to remember what my job is. I have moved more in the activist direction as I’ve gotten older, cause as a grown man you take on more responsibilities. You become more aware of your actions. But for the longest, I was very quick to say, “Listen. I’m not an activist.” I have a platform that I help activists out and I enable activists. I can be a voice for activism. But I’m not an activist. I’m an entertainer.

But the things that move people are not just found in the mainstream culture. So when we talk about hip-hop in general, hip-hop is preoccupied with life. You could find a hip-hop song dealing with any subject matter, but the stuff that’s being promoted and marketed and the corporations are spending major money on is the decadent stuff, which is mostly about drug use and sex. That’s why people get a skewed perspective of hip-hop. Hip-hop fans themselves aren’t even listening to that stuff. Most hip-hop fans aren’t listening to mainstream hip-hop. It’s people from other walks of life and genres who don’t have anything invested in hip-hop, who are pop listeners or who listen to whatever’s trendy, that are driving that. But when that stuff is not trendy anymore, you’ll start to see clearer what the subject matters of hip-hop are and how diverse they are.

Last night, the latest episode of Drink Champs aired on REVOLT TV, with legendary Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli making his return and sitting down with Noreaga and DJ EFN for a few drinks. This time around, Kweli brings along rap group Dead Prez, who sent shock waves throughout the rap world with their militant-minded 2000 debut, Let’s Get Free. That album, led by the classic single “Hip Hop,” established Dead Prez as one of the more polarizing, albeit insightful, duos in the game and has served as the foundation upon which M-1 and have built their 20-year career. In addition to touching on the genesis of Dead Prez and their humble beginnings, the interview brings to the surface a myriad of other topics, including Kweli’s introduction to the group, Kanye West, encounters with 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., and Prince, and what it means to be revolutionary but gangsta.

Mos Def, Yasiin Bey, is a phenomenon. He’s a cultural icon, one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met in my life. To share a stage with him is incredible for me. As an artist, I learn so much from him. Early in my career I really, really learned a lot from him, and I’m still learning a lot from him. I performed with him last night and I learned some things last night. I have my own fan base, but he draws a crowd that really increases my fan base in a way that I can only be grateful for.

In 2000, and now in 2018, Talib Kweli was absolutely right: things needed to be discussed, and it was the manner and form in which he and Mos Def discussed them that made their album one of the most enduring of the last 20 years. They were by no means the first rappers to touch on violence, liberation, and feminism, but they were establishing a musical tradition for bringing these messages to mass audiences. Black Star’s influence extends beyond sonics and treads into execution. Everyone from Kanye West to Chicago’s tobi lou uses the Black Star approach to advance their morality and their truth in their music.

It comes from the idea that the federal government was forcing Confederate states to not have slaves. The reason why the GOP is talking about socialism right now and railing against it is became they want the government to interfere when it comes to women’s bodies, they want the government to interfere when it comes to the police disproportionately arresting and abusing black people but when it comes to guns and the right to be racist they don’t want the government to interfere at all. It’s a very confusing argument for a lot of people but I think a lot of people can see how it all ties in.

And the Black Star audience is an audience that has taken that journey with us. They’re people who were in high school or college, a lot of them, when that album came out, who that represents the standard for them of what they think good hip-hop is, and I love that. And then I have – there’s younger kids who don’t like what’s going on in today’s music who go back and visit Black Star and other albums and people that we were influenced by.

In terms of making it, yeah. Most Def – excuse me Yasiin Bey – was working on a movie at the time, I think it’s called Where’s Marlowe, and he was staying at the Beverly Laurel Hotel out in California, in Hollywood. And he flew us out to stay with him. He had this huge hotel suite and we all stayed in there. It was myself, Hi-Tek and J. Rawls and my man Rich, who was a good friend of mine. We were all just in there. And my friend Kendra Ross, who is an artist who was on a lot of my records, her father owned a studio and we’d go over to his house out in North Hollywood. He would rent – there would be a bunch of gangsters in there. And this very organic, brotherly process began, we were all in there together cooking this record up. So, that’s how it started. The meat of the album, the majority of it, the ideas on the album came from those sessions.

As the project’s network expanded, though, he needed new monikers for his partnerships. Knife Knights is the name he gave to his work with Seattle engineer, producer, songwriter, and film composer Erik Blood, a vital force in the Shabazz Palaces universe. Now, after more than a decade of collaboration and the development into of a rich friendship, Butler and Blood have made a proper full-length record together as Knife Knights: 1 Time Mirage, an eleven-track odyssey that finds the pair and a cast of their friends weaving together a singular world of soul and shoegaze, hip-hop and lush noise, bass and bedlam. 1 Time Mirage represents a playground for Butler and Blood, a free space for unfettered exploration, and a radically adventurous start to something much more than a mere production duo or side project.

Kweli: I think Doug E. Fresh was the rapper who inspired me to write my first rhyme, but I really gravitated towards it when I heard De La Soul and Public Enemy in ’87 and ’88. Like De La Soul, Public Enemy, Slick Rick , Big Daddy Kane, Rakim — those were the people who made me wanna try to create songs.

TALIB KWELI: Nah, that’s – the onus is on me. You don’t want to be a conscious lyrical miracle spiritual rapper that’s so deep that your songs are no fun. TALIB KWELI: Right. ALI: What is it that is your motivation to continue to make music? Cause you’ve been doing this – you a veteran. You’ve been doing it for a long time.

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