Talib Kweli Talks 7, Consciousness, & Role Of Hip Hop
As anyone vaguely aware of Talib Kweli knows, the man can spit with the best of ’em and arguably offers more thought-provoking words per song than anyone in the game. The lyrics of Palookas from 2011’s Gutter Rainbows – “You ain’t gotta verse better than my worse one” – would sound like empty boasting from just about anybody else.
Kweli put on an exhibition at the Highline Ballroom earlier this month as he wrapped up a sixteen date tour introducing his forthcoming album with Styles P called The Seven. Kweli made his first mark in ’98 with the potent Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star and he reached back to that album during the set for K.O.S. (Knowledge of Self). It’s been a great ride since and as the artist has taken more control of all aspects of record-making and its subsequent promotion, he’s entered an especially fruitful period.
One misconception about the BK MC is that he doesn’t vote so I asked him, in the aftermath of the recent election, to clarify his position. In fact he does vote when he views it as meaningful as he explains in the video below featuring bonus bits of the conversation we had backstage at the Highline Ballroom after the show on Friday, February 10th. (It also includes remarks about the mixtape that came out last year Awful People Are Great At Parties and how he and Styles inject culture into their music.) Not only does Kweli vote, he’s been to the White House and conferred with President Obama! He spoke about that, his old Black Star bandmate Yasiin Bey – formerly known as Mos Def – and a handful of other issues in an interview with the UK online platform Acton Entertainment also embedded below…