Reviews Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli – Prisoner of Consciousness album review

Perhaps when Talib Kweli recently defended Rick Ross’ reprehensible lyrics on U.E.O.N.O by calling him “misguided” he did so in a glimpse of projection and subconscious self-reflection. Both may have a tad more in common than the average would assume in terms of identity issues, so while Rick Ross’ latest offering is tentatively titled Mastermind, Talib’s is called prisoner of consciousness.

There may not be a more fitting title for this album, as Kweli strays from his typical social commentary and goes for more commercial appeal…but shows he’s very conscious of the line that represents full mainstream accessibility and acceptance and stands far from it.

It’s not as if the Brooklyn wordsmith is less lyrically inclined, his trademark rapid-fire rasp is still in full force throughout the 15 track effort. He still drops metaphors with the deft of LeBron James dropping the ball into the cup, and still relentlessly mows through drums with astounding assonance.

On the Melanie Fiona assisted “Ready Set Go” Kweli openly ponders, “What if I listened to haters and never bothered hittin’ high water marks ’cause the markets flooded with garbage?” in a dazzling display that accentuates his reputation as a top notch lyricist.

The “Paid in Full” inspired “Turnt Up” finds Kweli ripping through those famous drums (augmented with an entrancing vocal harmony) with vigor, staking his claim and preventing the song from being a novelty. On “Push Thru” he outflows Currensy and goes toe to toe with Compton kingpin Kendrick Lamar, he who’s widely considered the best lyricist in Hip-Hop.

It’s not that Kweli has declined in any sense of the word, when he’s on, he’s ON. It’s just that on this album those moments are few and far between. The album spends a notable amount of time trying to grab the fairer sex’s attention. In one instance Talib discusses the highs and lows of courting with R&B ingenue Miguel on “Come Here“, and he tackles relationship issues on “Hamster Wheel”. Each are lyrically dense narratives, but therein lies the problem.

As versatile as Kweli has proven himself content wise through the years, he’s also historically maintained the same delivery no matter the beat. When one is straying from their artistic comfort zone, it’d seem like they’d go all the way. Talib Kweli just doesn’t have the charisma to consistently and engage the top 40 listener. That’s not a bad thing, but it is when you spend the core of an album trying to.

The production consistently delivers, however Talib doesn’t always. When it comes to mass appeal in 2013 the cold truth is that there is just more to it than lyrics alone, and Kweli seems unwilling to experiment with his flow or delivery, and that results in a lopsided album. Most artists would accept an album containing a bulk of tracks successful due to their trademark qualities with a few reachers that may not connect, but this is just the opposite.

Unfortunately Talib Kweli’s attempted prison break from consciousness wasn’t entirely successful.


Marco Polo featuring Talib Kweli & DJ Premier “G.U.R.U.” A Dedication To Honor Guru’s Legacy

Friday April 19th marks the three-year anniversary of the passing of Guru and this track, “G.U.R.U.” f/ Talib Kweli & DJ Premier is dedicated to his memory and a celebration of his life, legacy and all of the vast accomplishments and great music he and DJ Premier gave us. “G.U.R.U.” also serves as the lead-single from Marco Polo’s forthcoming LP, PA2: The Director’s Cut, which will be released in July 2013 on SoulSpazm Records.

“Tomorrow marks the three-year anniversary of the passing of the legendary G.U.R.U. of Gang Starr. I decided to this leak this record one day early to ensure DJ’s and everyone can have it ready for his anniversary and it can be played tomorrow. This is one of the most important records I’ve ever been a part of” states Marco Polo. “Thank you to Talib Kweli and DJ Premier for being a part of this incredible record! We will also be premiering the “G.U.R.U.” video very soon (which is directed by Todd Angkasuwan) so stay tuned. Please help share this record and celebrate the life of an artist who influenced myself and so many others in Hip-Hop and music period! R.I.P. Keith Edward Elam aka G.U.R.U. (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal)!”

Link to Marco Polo f/ Talib Kweli & DJ Premier “G.U.R.U.”:

Marco Polo’s PA2: The Director’s Cut features appearances from Organized Konfusion, Gangrene, Talib Kweli, DJ Premier, Masta Ace, Posdnuos (De La Soul), Kardinal Offishal, Styles P, Nature, Rah Digga, Slaine, Celph Titled, Ill Bill, Large Professor, Inspectah Deck, O.C. & many many more.

Press Releases



Star-Studded LP Features Appearances From Jay Electronica, Joe Budden, Crooked I, Sean Price, Joell Ortiz, Talib Kweli, Bun B, Max B, Saigon, Nipsey Hussle, KRS-One, Kool G Rap, Buckshot, Bizarre and many more

A bit of a transient, Doc Ish is from a little bit of everywhere. Born in Dallas, TX, then onto places such as Virginia, and Brooklyn NY and everywhere in between, it has been Hartford, CN that Doc has always returned to and calls home. Doc signed his first deal as a senior in High-School and soon thereafter moved to NY where he was introduced to a slew of industry talents and had the opportunity to work with artists such Heavy D, Kurupt and Foxy Brown to name a few.

Since then, Doc has lost a lot of time, “years,” in regards to his music career. For years, he was jumping from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital, trying to figure out why his health would take such dramatic shifts and leave him in an almost debilitating state. Lying in hospital beds, with nothing but time on his hands while his various health problems were both diagnosed and treated, Doc’s health eventually got better and when it did, so did his hunger for making music. When Doc re-entered the scene in 2008, he did so with a renewed vigor and his networking lead to meetings with various artists, one of which, D-12’s Bizarre, would eventually change his world as he then knew it upside down. After recording sessions with Bizarre, Doc received a call from him that a certain Detroit superstar heard one of his tracks and immediately gravitated to it. That track was what you know as “We Made You” the lead-single from Eminem’s Grammy award winning LP Relapse, which has since gone 2X Platinum and re-vaulted Eminem back into the national spotlight after a five-year hiatus.

Despite the overwhelming changes that have occurred since “We Made You” hit the masses, Doc Ish has remained humble and hungry throughout the process and is determined to capitalize on the opportunity and use it as a stepping-stone. The timing and subsequent spotlight that has been affixed to Doc’s back ever since was ideal for the forthcoming release of Doc Ish Presents: The First Treatment which will be released on 5-11-2010.

The First Treatment includes a collection of iconic and legendary emcees that would make a major label blush, let alone one of an Independent nature. While “Cut My Throat” f/Saigon, INS Deck, Ransom and Quan has already made an immediate impact on the urban blogosphere, fans are already salivating over the LP’s assortment of talent and eagerly awaiting to hear tracks such as the dream-team pairings of Jay Electronica, Crooked I & Sean Price (“She Did It Again”) and Bun B, Joe Budden and Talib Kweli on “Is It A Dream.”

Doc Ish believes that music is cathartic and creating this project proves as much and The First Treatment is the next step in curing Hip-Hop’s ailments.

Tracklisting and credits for Doc Ish Presents: The First Treatment:

1.) “Hi Kids” f/ Joell Ortiz
2.) “No Goodbye’s” f/ Apollo Swyf & Burroughs
3.) “Animal Grammar” f/ KRS-One & Burroughs
4.) “She Did It Again” f/ Crooked I, Sean Price, Jay Electronica & Novel
5.) “These Streets” f/ Max B, Red Cafe, Quan
6.) “Cut My Throat ” f/ Ransom, Quan, Saigon & INS Deck
7.) “Who You Are” f/ AZ & Charmange
8.) “Is It A Dream” f/ Joe Budden, Talib Kweli & Bun B
9.) “Open Your Eyez” f/ Termanalogy & Hectic
10.) “Stalker” feat. Bizarre (of D-12)
11.) “Make Movez” f/ Buckshot, Rock (Heltah Skeltah) & Colloso
12.) “Untitled” feat. Nipsey Hussle & Mya
13.) “War Outside” feat. King Gordy, Kool G Rap & Billy Danze (M.O.P.)
14.) “Skys Are Grey” feat. Quan, Oddisee & Nature
15.) “You Make Me Stronger” Kool G Rap & Ma Barker
16.) “Mo Money” Uncle Murder
17.) “FOH” ” f/ The Abnormals
18.) “Freestyle” f/ Supernatural

***All Tracks Produced By Doc Ish

Press Releases

MIND BODY SOUL – Diabetes Fundraiser phife, ghostface killah, talib kweli, jay electronica and more

MIND BODY SOUL – Diabetes Fundraiser phife, ghostface killah, talib kweli, jay electronica and more

As 2010 comes into full-swing, ‘health and wellness’ is on the mind of millions – and here in New York, artist’s and activists have come together to launch a concert series in support this common cause

The Heavy Sound, an eclectic music collective, consisting of world-class artists, celebrity deejays and top musicians, present to you – MIND BODY SOUL- A benefit concert to raise awareness of Diabetes.

Taking place at 8pm on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010, at the new Knitting Factory. A historic venue, known for its intimate setting centered around great live performances. The Heavy Sound founder, creative guru Moon Mehta, has chosen the Knitting Factory, located in Brooklyn’s hip Williamsburg District at 361 Metropolitan Avenue as the location for his special event.

Actor, Michael Rapaport, will join as host. In addition to his many motion-picture and television network appearances, Rapaport will be attending this year’s Tribeca Film Festival to preview his breakthrough documentary film about the legendary rap group, A Tribe Called Quest. Rapaport is thrilled to be invited as host for this noble cause.

Joining Mr. Rapaport, as our Guest of Honor will be, Mr. Malik Isaac Taylor best known as ‘Phife Dawg’ from A Tribe Called Quest. Having been affected by diabetes himself, Phife recently had to undergo a bout with the disease and receive a long-awaited kidney transplant this past year. Other celebrities having to battle similar circumstances, are NBA all stars Sean Elliot and Alonzo Mourning. Phife will be appearing for the first time in New York since this successful surgery, exclusively to attend this event.

Universal Motown artist, Consequence will be there to perform songs from his new album, with additional performance by break-out artist, Jay Electronica, and special guest performances to, include Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah, Grand Puba, and others.

The evenings musical-styling will be brought to you by deejay, D-Lyfe. D-Lyfe has performed with many reputable artists such as, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Notorious B.I.G., just to name a few. Special guest deejays scheduled to appear include DJ Premier and Static Selektah.

Diabetes, is a condition affecting families in the number of over 235 million people across 7 continents. You can make a difference. Tell a friend, and join us. It will be a fun and inspiring evening with a series of performing artists of epic proportion, for a global cause.

David Banner Press Releases Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli, David Banner, Little Brother and B.O.B. Merge Rhymes and Live Instrumentation on the 2nd year of the Groundbreaking National Hip Hop Live! Tour

Talib Kweli, David Banner, Little Brother and B.O.B. Merge Rhymes and Live Instrumentation on the 2nd year of the Groundbreaking National Hip Hop Live! Tour

HIP HOP LIVE!, the groundbreaking national tour presented by Flow TV, ( and produced by The Agency Group, is proud to announce the sophomore version of their critically acclaimed annual outing. Beginning September 28th at Cane’s in San Diego and making its way east to end at the Nokia Theater in Times Square, NYC on October 25th, Hip Hop Live! brings you Hip Hop notables Talib Kweli, David Banner, Little Brother and B.O.B (who split duties as the tour’s opener). Each of the acts will take the stage backed by heralded 10-Piece live band Rhythm Roots All Stars for unique versions of the songs they have made mainstays.

The 19 city run will make history again featuring the cultural straight shooting of visionary Talib Kweli, moving forward full steam off his incredibly successful and acclaimed Ear Drum LP; David Banner riding the success of his chart topping smash single “Get Like Me” off his new album The Greatest Story Ever Told; Little Brother, fresh off a wave of high profile festival appearances, bring a top-notch, high energy live show; B.O.B., much hyped guitar wielding ATL rapper and producer, rounds out the dynamic line up. Also, look for special guest appearances in various cities along the tour.

The Rhythm Roots All Stars are a collective of the industries best musicians, who have performed/recorded with such notables as Black Eyed Peas, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Outkast, and the list goes on.

Last year’s Hip Hop Live! Tour featured Ghostface Killah, Rakim and Brother Ali, all backed by the All Stars, and was a huge success, selling out nearly all of the 18 shows.

“Hip Hop Live! proved that hip-hop lives”, XXL Magazine


(w/ Little Brother)

Sun-Sep-28 San Diego, CA @ Canes
Tue-Sep-30 Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
Thu-Oct-02 San Francisco, CA @ Grand Ballroom
Fri-Oct-03 Portland, OR @ Roseland
Sat-Oct-04 Eugene, OR @ McDonald Theater
Sun-Oct-05 Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodu
Wed-Oct-08 Boulder, CO @ Fox Theater
Fri-Oct-10 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Mon-Oct-13 Bloomington, IN @ Bluebird

(w/ B.O.B.)

Sat-Oct-18 Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
Sun-Oct-19 Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
Mon-Oct-20 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Thu-Oct-23 Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
Fri-Oct-24 Boston, MA @ Showcase Live!
Sat-Oct-25 New York, NY @ Nokia Theatre

*more dates to be announced!

Press Releases

Super-producer KWAME has produced hit records for the likes of Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, Will Smith, Talib Kweli, & Lloyd Banks (just to name a few). Now, Kwame would like to introduce the World to his debut artist BEYOND BELIEF.

Super-producer KWAME has produced hit records for the likes of Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, Will Smith, Talib Kweli, & Lloyd Banks (just to name a few). Now, Kwame would like to introduce the World to his debut artist BEYOND BELIEF.

Beyond Belief is a 20-year old emcee hailing from Rockaway, New York. His first single “Don’t Touch” has been added to the playlist on Music Choice as well as Reno’s Wild 102.9. In addition, it is receiving spins on California’s Hot 94.1 and Charlotte’s 96.1 The Beat.

The accompanying music video for the single has been added to Music Choice On Demand & HBO’s the Zone, and can be seen in stores like Foot Action, Foot Locker, Finish Line, Champs, etc.

Beyond Belief’s credits include guest appearances on remixes for both Jesse McCartney (‘Make Up’) & Jordin Sparks (‘One Step at a Time’). He is also the co-writer/performer of the Seattle Supersonics 2004-2005 playoff season theme song.

With production from Kwame, Beyond Belief has a unique sound that distinguishes him from the pack. The only way to fully understand is to listen.

Check out his MySpace page here:


9th Wonder & Buckshot HOLD IT DOWN featuring Talib Kweli and Tyler Woods Video Treatment

9th Wonder & Buckshot “HOLD IT DOWN” ft. Talib Kweli and Tyler Woods Video Treatment

(Created by Dru Ha)

This music video will examine 3 different perspectives of struggle for 3 different individuals (Buckshot, Talib & 9th Wonder) and how they all intersect within the same environment. We open on Buckshot walking down the street. He sees a Bootlegger on the corner of the street. Upon further inspection he finds the Bootlegger selling Duck Down CDs. Buckshot confronts the Bootlegger which sparks an argument drawing the attention of cops on patrol. The cops, seeing the potential altercation, rush the scene letting the bootlegger get away and wrongfully apprehending Buckshot. Buckshot is visually upset, aggressively pleading his case but the cops aren’t listening and physically haul him away into their vehicle without explanation.

Cut to Talib Kweli ready for work. He’s wearing a suit and tie and has just entered his new BMW vehicle. Inside his car, Talib Kweli notices a patrol car signaling for him to pull over. As the cops approach his window, Talib calmly explains that he’s a city lawyer late for work. The cops aren’t having it. They ask him to step out of the car and frisk him. Talib doesn’t retaliate but his reactions are ice cold. Talib’s verse will take place during this scene.

Cut to 9th Wonder inside of an office building. He’s on line by the security section. When it’s his turn, the security guard asks to see his ID. 9th Wonder explains that he’s running late for work. The security guard is annoyed and tells him to stand aside so other people can walk through. A white woman walks by and is not asked to show any identification. 9th Wonder reacts to this. The hook will take place during this scene.

Cut to a White Male getting dressed for work in an upscale Mid-town Manhattan apartment. He fixes his tie, puts on his coat and checks himself out in a long mirror. The man then exits his bedroom and the viewer sees his son on the couch using a computer. The camera pans to the right so the son’s computer screen is in focus. The son is illegally uploading a 9th Wonder & Buckshot track to Pan up to the father saying goodbye to his son; playfully messing up his hair and seeming proud that his boy is working on the computer.

(Court Room Scene)

As the final chorus hits we enter a courtroom. Inside are all 4 of our characters from each storyline. Buckshot is the defendant led into the room by a cop. Talib Kweli is Buckshot’s defense attorney and looks at him with re-assuring eyes. The White Male is in fact the prosecutor for the case. His son, the illegal downloader, is in fact the only who had committed any type of crime or wrong doing on this day.

9th Wonder bangs his gavel and all rise as the Judge presides over the hearing. All of them look at each other with a sense of understanding.

Hold it down

Featured on 9th Wonder & Buckshot’s “FORMULA” album in stores April 29th

Talib Kweli Videos

Talib Kweli – Hostile Gospel Part 1 (Deliver Us) video

Talib Kweli – Hostile Gospel Part 1 (Deliver Us) video

Kanye West Press Releases Talib Kweli


In Zune’s constant quest to provide exclusive content for their audience they have teamed up with both Kanye West and Talib Kweli to release exclusive content from both of these artists available only at the Zune Marketplace and

Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nuthin” remix featuring Young Jeezy will be available only at the Zune Marketplace on September 18th. In addition to the exclusive track, will have an exclusive interview with Kanye from his private party at the Hard Rock Hotel during MTV’s VMA weekend.

Talib Kweli is currently Zune’s ‘Ignition’ artist for the month of September. The artist recently performed at the Chicago stop of Zune’s unique “Live at the BBQ” concert series where he joined Mos Def on stage. The Zune Marketplace is featuring the exclusive track “Hush,” a track-by-track breakdown of the influential artist’s latest release Eardrum, and a guest playlist put together by Talib himself. In addition, there is exclusive video content on Xbox Live, and is presenting a Blacksmith TV episode narrated by Talib Kweli, himself.

Strong Arm Steady Videos

Strong Arm Steady featuring Talib Kweli – One Step video

Strong Arm Steady featuring Talib Kweli “One Step” taken from forthcoming debut LP, Deep Hearted, which will be released by Nature Sounds Records on August 28th, 2007