- VH1 Soul is dead, long live Centric posted on March 29, 2010
- The ten most popular indie-rap artists… posted on January 11, 2011
- Digable Planets fracture, cancel tour posted on March 22, 2009
- Superlists!: Top Ten Femcees posted on March 24, 2009
- The Plug One Q&A: Flying Lotus posted on June 10, 2008
- Review: Atmosphere, “To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy” posted on September 9, 2010
- R.I.P. Paper Thin Walls posted on August 29, 2008
- Zion-I tour dates posted on February 25, 2009
- Vibe’s demise posted on July 1, 2009
- Why Plug One survives posted on March 17, 2010
Tag Archives: Talib Kweli
Reflection Eternal, Revolutions Per Minute Warner Bros. It has taken a decade for Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek to resume their partnership, but Revolutions Per Minute sounds like the two never parted. In spite of his freelance assignments for G-Unit … Continue reading
This essay was posted on Rhapsody.com’s Music Stuff Place blog on May 25. I wrote it for my Rap Is Not Pop column. ————————————- Rap Is Not Pop: Lies, Relatives And Revolutions Do rappers even rap anymore? When B.o.Bâ€™s The … Continue reading
You may have noticed that I’m posting more videos lately. Expect that to continue. I won’t be posting a bunch of wick-wack though, just the stuff that’s relevant to Plug One. This one’s from the upcoming Reflection Eternal reunion album … Continue reading
Nearly ten years ago, Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek issued Reflection Eternal. They packed the classic album with thoughtful neo-soul-influenced tracks. But soon after its release — which was delayed over a year and originally titled Train of Thought — … Continue reading
Here is a speculative list of ten 2009 hip-hop albums. All of these titles are scheduled to drop sometime during the next 12 months. I omitted some perennial “coming soon” titles (Madvillainy 2, 9th Wonder’s The Wonder Years, Ghost & … Continue reading
New clip for Talib Kweli’s track with KRS-One from last year’s Eardrum.
Two and a half years after The Beautiful Struggle, nearly a year after it was first scheduled for release, three months after it leaked onto the Internet, and around a month from its most recent July 24 date, Talib Kweli’s third solo album Eardrum will finally hit the streets via Warner Bros this month. Kicking off with a benediction from the great poet Sonia Sanchez, it finds Kweli collaborating with Jean Grae, Kanye West, UGK, Norah Jones, Roy Ayers, Lyfe Jennings, Musiq Soulchild and Justin Timberlake. As I’ve written before, it may be Kweli’s last chance at establishing a mainstream rap career.
Stakes are mad high, and Kweli deserves credit for putting in extra work. This month, in addition to reuniting with his Black Star partner Mos Def on the Rock the Bells tour, he’ll fulfill a number of spot dates around the country. The concerts will most likely be an appetizer to a full-fledged run later this year.
Pick up Eardrum on August 21, and check out the tour dates below.
After nearly a year in delays, Talib Kweli finally has a release date for his third solo album.
Ear Drum is set for release on July 24 via his Warner Bros.-distributed imprint, Blacksmith Music. It features production from Kanye West, will.i.am, Madlib and former Reflection Eternal partner DJ Hi-Tek. The album title, says Kweli in a press release, represents "the image of the ear and of the drum, which are powerful enough by themselves, but put them together and it’s an instrument in your body that helps you hear. They’re also two very simple, yet powerful words. I wanted to focus on finding a sound that makes you move, and that’s where the word ‘eardrum’ popped in my head."
A lot is riding on Ear Drum for Brooklyn’s finest. Ten years removed from his "Fortified Live" debut with Reflection Eternal (yes, it’s been that long), many people in the music industry have written Kweli off, asserting that his time has passed and he’ll never break through to a wider audience. That may be the reason why a solid single released last year, "Listen," failed to connect. It was a strong single, but too predictable.
The album, a collaboration between Kweli and mystery achiever Madlib, is called Liberation. Kweli has talked up the nine-track EP-length set on his MySpace page for months. As recently as December 5, he wrote, "So I know I know, I said Liberation will be out in November. I like to be a man of my word and believe me, I really tried! There are just politics with putting out a free album that I wasn’t ready for. Everyone has to be on the same page, and I got a lot of business on my plate right now." But all’s well that ends well.
Liberation, which can be downloaded for free here (with additional artwork) and here is, in Kweli’s words, "a straight ahead, sample driven hiphop record, from two of the best doing it." It marks his second underground release following the Blacksmith: The Movement mixtape in November. His new album, Eardrum, was scheduled for release last fall; it is now tentatively set for February. Meanwhile Madlib is working on a new Madvillain collabo with MF Doom.