Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
Listen to Samples
Talib Kweli delivers another great CD...
T. Walsh | New Jeru | 12/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Talib Kweli is now beginning to become a dominant force in hiphop today. Kweli first emerged on the scene with Rawkus Records 'Soundbombing 1' compilation, followed by 'Blackstar' with Mos Def, and soon afterwards the 'Reflection Eternal' CD with DJ Hi-Tek. His intelligent rhymes are loved by hiphop fans abroad. After being blessed with a brilliant solo CD, I was left wondering if the man could top it??... He doesn't, but he still holds his ground...Talib Kweli's label, Rawkus Records, started off as the perfect direction for hiphop to follow. Putting out gem after gem: Lyricist Lounge 1, Blackstar, Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch, Soundbombing 1 & 2, Reflection Eternal, etc... However, poor business decisions ultimately backfired on the formally flawless label. From 2000-2001 the label just imploded!!! Rawkus lost Company Flow, neglected underground talent Shabaam Sahdeeq, not dropping Last Emperor's CD, they WASTED 2 years of Kool G Rap's life (his CD never dropped during his duration with the label). Plus Rawkus began putting out some very questionable CDs: Lyricist Lounge 2 (see Rawkus's attempt at becoming Def Jam), Smut Peddlers (OK CD, but nothing special), Hi-Tek (breath of fresh air), and the highly hyped Soundbombing 3 (which BOMBED... but had a handful of good tracks)... To sum it up, they have not put out anything worthwhile after 'Reflection Eternal' (2000)....Yet during the armageddon of Rawkus Records a strong voice in hiphop still stood out and refused to die with the label. "Quality" by Kweli at times out-does his Reflection Eternal CD and it almost has the power to make Rawkus look decent again...'Quality' is chock-full-of intelligent rhymes and subject matter. Cut after cut we are hit with a barrage of creativity and some badly needed "GOOD MATERIAL" to help the slowly dying hiphop culture. The absence of Hi-Tek is very noticeable at first and could be a quick turnoff, but after a couple of listens through you begin to slowly realize that Kweli still has a great chemistry with all types of producers... PROS:
"The Proud" (song of the year) - brilliant song discussing how the United States handles times of terror. The topics in the song range from the Oklahoma City Bombing, corrupt justice system, to 9/11/01... this song contains some of the most intelligent lines I've ever heard Kweli spit...
"Gun Music" - don't be turned off by the subject matter. kweli makes it look good (this should've been the lead single as opposed to "Waiting For The DJ")
"Get By" - talks about hardships in the ghetto
"Joy" - talks about the birth of his children
"Good To You" - battle track
"Guerrilla Monsoon Rap" - battle track with Black Thought & Pharoahe Monch
"Won't You Stay" - nice love tale
"Stand To The Side" - good song talking about politicsCONS:
Being that the production isn't the usual Hi-Tek material it could be a turn off for some fans... "Waiting For The DJ" is an ok track at most, but I wouldn't have chosen this as the lead single because it could be a turn off for some Kweli fans...
"Talk To You" - not a bad song but this should be on a Bilal CD
"Where Do We Go" - ok subject matter, but a bit too slow and R&B influenced for my likingOverall this CD is definitely worth the purchase. Kweli almost has the finesse to make Rawkus Records look dope again, but he cannot do it all by himself. Talib Kweli is creeping his way into the mainstream audience, but he still refuses to put out lack-luster material. Even fans of Jay-Z, Nas, and Eminem should check out the man from Rawkus who's making noise on the hiphop scene (with a positive message and showcasing what hiphop is really about)...."Quality" - one of 2002's best CDsI'm Out ... Mind Power!!!"