Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
After collaborations with Mos Def (1998's Black Star) and Hi-Tek (2000's Reflection Eternal), underground journeyman Talib Kweli finally emerges fully solo with Quality. As an MC, Kweli is still as incisive as ever--his di... more »
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After collaborations with Mos Def (1998's Black Star) and Hi-Tek (2000's Reflection Eternal), underground journeyman Talib Kweli finally emerges fully solo with Quality. As an MC, Kweli is still as incisive as ever--his distinctive, darting flow stabs its way across every song and, as one of hip-hop's better thinkers, he covers a wide range of moods and ideas. As a verbal ass-whupper, Kweli unloads on songs like "Rush," "Shock Body," and "Guerrilla Monsoon Rap" (featuring the Roots' Black Thought and Pharoahe Monch), but he takes things much further than just the lyricist's lounge. "Get By," produced beautifully by Kayne West, is the conscious hustler's anthem, while "Where Do We Go" muses on death as thoughtfully and introspectively as "Joy" (with Mos Def) delves into the wonders of birth. "The Proud" tackles American jingoism in a time of terror, providing a much needed dose of skepticism when patriotic sentimentalism has free reign. Though Kweli's thoughts are coherent throughout, Quality as a whole lacks a certain cohesion--there's no single guiding vision that glues all the pieces together, and the album's production-by-ensemble doesn't help. This is a solid album no question, but especially compared to ambitious contemporaneous concept albums by peers such as Common and the Roots, Quality feels unexpectedly conventional--a strong collection of songs in need of a unifying force. --Oliver Wang
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Chuka K. Nwanesi | Oaklawn, Illinois United States | 11/28/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes it sucks to be the one to write a negative review about someone I respect and admire so much, but let's chalk it up to constructive criticism. The intro on this cd is probably the best i ever heard since 'Things Fall Apart'. Dave Chapelle was awesome, considering he also voiced the Nelson mandela intro on Eternal. 'Rush', produced by Megahertz was as good as any rap track I heard this year. 'Get by' was great too. Then the wheels came lose, things started crumbling as too many cooks started hitting the kitchen. Tracks 6, with Bilal, 7 with Mos, and of course the Soulquarian produced track 8 right the ship for a second, but kweli couldn't maintain the momentum.
What happened? you may ask. Well, as good as Talib is as a lyricist (he has some of the deepest flows I ever heard), he isn't the versatile MC Mos is. Mos can flow to 10 different producers and be able to adjust to each and every beat change and style. He can even ad lib and sing when he runs out of lyrics. Kweli on the other hand is very one dimentional. He is so used to Hi-Tek's beats that trying to sound half-commercial was a big mistake. Ayatollah, DJ Quik, etc. They are not people who pattern their musik to fit Kweli subtle wordplay. And why would you pick 2 J-Dilla beats that are identical, and then play them back to back?!
I love Kweli, I really do. But he should decide in his mind what he wants his albums to sound like. He is never going to be a commercial rapper. He should hook up with Hi-tek in future ( Except to work with ?uestlove, Dilla, Megahertz, storch, Darien, west, Poyser) for that is where his power lies. He should stay away from the gun rapping , thuglike rhymes he used on some tracks, for it isn't convincing.
I sum up by saying, good rhymes, confused artist, to many cooks. A lot of highlights, but a lot of lowlights too. thanks."
The Truth Is..... (4 Stars)
Norfeest | Washington DC USA | 12/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a dope album. No, it's not a classic, but every album isn't going to be. It would be silly to expect them all to be classics. And I can't for the life of me understand why people expected to hear another "Train Of Thought" LP when this isn't a Reflection Eternal album.....it's a Talib Kweli album. There's a lot of whining about how Talib didn't make a classic and there are others crying because Talib didn't make another "Train of Thought" LP or because he didn't collab with Mos to drop another Black Star album. Or you have those that are swinging from DJ Hi Tek's nuts as if he's the only producer that Talib Kweli is allowed to work with. And let me tell you folks, none of these reviews are accurate.....not even close. "Quality" is a dope album. How anybody could deny the heat that Kweli brought on tracks like "Rush", "Shock Body", "Get By", "Good To You", or "Guerrilla Monsoon Rap" feat. Black Thought & Pharoahe Monche is completely beyond me. These songs are beyond hot. Even when Talib slows it down on tracks like "Won't You Stay" feat. Kendra Ross, "Where Do We Go feat. Res, or "Talk To You" feat. Bilal he still manages to come off as tight as ever. There are even classic Talib Kweli tracks on here like "The Proud" and "Stand To The Side" feat. Novel & Vinia Mojica.
In fact, the only slip ups on the entire album come on tracks like "Waiting For The DJ" feat. Bilal, "Put It In The Air" feat. DJ Quik, and "Gun Music" feat. Cocoa Brovaz. And you know what, those tracks aren't even wack, they're just blatantly out of place on this album. If they were on a compilation album or a movie soundtrack half of these same naysayers would be singing Talib's praises.
This album is just as good as (if not better than) any rap release of 2002. There are NO wack tracks on this album. There are some "different" tracks, but people need to understand that different doesn't automatically mean bad all of the time. Different means just that......different. Those of you that give an album or artist a chance to expand their talents and listen with an open mind without trying to pigeonhole them will love this album. If you're expecting a Reflection Eternal or Black Star album (though this IS a solo album) and you just insist upon Kweli sounding the same way he did almost 6 years ago (yeah, it's been that long since the Black Star LP), then pass on this one today and come back to it when you're a little more receptive to change. I will garauntee you this though.....if Black Star does manage to get together and put another album out, it will NOT sound like their 1st album and these SAME folks will be whining about that album not being a classic too. Just watch. Don't believe the hype folks, this is definitely an album worth owning.
Standout Tracks: Joy feat. Mos Def, Rush, The Proud (My Favorite), Guerrilla Monsoon Rap feat. Black Thought and Pharoahe Monche, Shock Body, Talk To You (Lil' Darlin') feat. Bilal, Good To You, Put It In The Air feat. DJ Quik, Where Do We Go feat. Res, Get By, and Won't You Stay feat. Kendra Ross"
SIMPLY A CLASSIC
TKitO | Hong Kong | 10/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Talib Kweli, One of the member from the Supreme Rap Group "Black Star", He is the most talent rapper over here now!
This guy is MAD NICE!!!
Great Lyrics, Smooth Voice, Great Flow!
Sometime, if the beat is really wack, no matter how strong the rapper is, he still can't save the album,
but This album have many A+ Beat!I still considering should I said it's a classic when I hear this album few times,
but after hear more times, I can feel the Heart and the Soul that Kweli give to the listener,
He is one of the Truest Rapper in the game!
And the beat is mad nice, so I decided it a muthafu*kin' CLASSIC!Rush - Up-tempo Beat with a Distortion Electric Guitar Sample, a very animation song to start this album! 4.5/5Get By - WOW~ The First Single of This album! Great Beat, Great Piano sample, a Grand Chorus, Kweli tell you how's life from the Ghetto, How their Life Get By! 5/5Shock Body - Nice Beat Too! But Not My Favorite! 4/5Gun Music - This one is Not a Bad Track, but I don't like the Chorus Sounds like! 4/5Waiting For a DJ - Talib Kweli is Waitin' for a DJ to rock your ass!!! 5/5Joy - Talib show off his Storytellin' Skill! Talib tell you the little story about his Baby Boy and Girl, Featuring Mos Def but damn.... he just sing the chorus! 4.5/5Talk To You - No CommentGuerrilla Monsoon Rap - Featurin Black Thought and Pharoahe Monch, Nice one! 4/5Put It In The Air - This one is a mad nice Party anthem! Great beat by DJ Quik(this guy is extremely underrated) Really GREAT Track!!! 5/5The Proud - Not My Favorite 4/5Where Do We Go - A Slow Song, The Deepest song from this album! 4/5Stand To The Side - This one is a Good Track! but not favorite too! 4/5Good To You - GREAT ONE! 4.5/5Won't You Stay - it's a Love Song man! and this one should be one of the best in album! 5/5Rush, Get By, Waitin' for a DJ, Joy, Put It In The Air, Won't You Stay is Already worth you to get this album!!We all need and BEG for a REAL Rapper just like Kweli!
And We Beg for a modern Rap CLASSIC like this one!True Rap Fans Should NEVER miss Kweli "Quality" for their Rap CD Collections!"