Your name or email adress:
Do you already have an account?
Forgot your password?
  • Log in or Sign up


    Results 1 to 4 of 4
    1. #1
      Jahness's Avatar
      Jahness is offline OniOni Warrior

      Join Date
      Mar 2005
      Location
      In amerikkka! Stolen from Afrika!
      Posts
      6,827
      Thumbs Up/Down
      Received: 1/0
      Given: 18/0
      Rep Power
      617

      Arrow An Uplifting Voice of Hip-Hop: A Profile of Talib Kweli


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      An Uplifting Voice of Hip-Hop
      A Profile of Talib Kweli


      By Jeff Chang
      October 2005 Issue

      TALIB KWELI HATES BEING CALLED A “CONSCIOUS” RAPPER. But anthems like
      “Black Girl Pain” and “Get By” have established him as one of the most
      uplifting voices of the hip-hop generation.

      He refuses to vote and calls politics “an illusion.” But he is a
      fervent advocate on behalf of political prisoners and a proud supporter of
      community organizations like the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

      He insists he isn’t a role model. But he spends much of his time
      speaking to inner-city high schoolers and college students.

      In a musical genre usually delivered in the first person, the most
      common word in his music may well be “we.”

      If the hip-hop generation is a hothouse of contradictions, Kweli is one
      of its most intriguing blossoms.

      His story is typical of many in the hip-hop generation. Born Talib
      Greene to two professors, he was raised in a Brooklyn household deeply attuned to the civil rights and Black Power movements. But rather than
      following his parents into political activism, he followed his peers into
      cultural production.

      A gifted writer and rhymer, Kweli joined forces with high school friend
      Dante “Mos Def” Smith to form the crew Black Star. Released just as
      commercial rap was consolidating around bling-and-party themes, their
      acclaimed 1998 album, Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are … Black Star,
      heralded a return to the liberation-minded ideals of rap. Two years
      later, he followed with his first solo album with Hi-Tek, Reflection Eternal:
      Train of Thought.

      His second album, 2002’s Quality, offered his biggest hit and most
      succinct manifesto to date, “Get By.” Over a Nina Simone sample
      hooked up by producer Kanye West, the song starts as a story
      of a man trying to get his life right and becomes a metaphor for
      a generation struggling to center itself amidst forces of oppression.
      The revolution, Kweli was saying, began with one’s self.

      Kweli rejects labels like “conscious” or “political rap” as insidious
      forms of corporate branding. “Party” or “gangsta rap” is marketed to
      mass audiences—crucially through black and brown urban audiences
      first—a process he captures in a single line from “Get By”: “We’re
      survivalists turned to consumers.” But “conscious rap” is seen as a rap sub-market and is often pushed first to educated, middle-class, multicultural—often white—audiences. Some black audiences then
      tend to reject such music as “white music.” Kweli says, “Once you
      put a prefix on an MC’s name, someone will shut down. As an artist,
      that’s a death trap.

      “That goes for ‘gangsta rap’ too,” he adds. “If an artist is labeled
      ‘gangsta rap,’ all the so-called conscious rap fans won’t check for
      them. But they would find gems and jewels if they heard it. I’ll play
      Jay-Z’s ‘Reasonable Doubt’ for someone and they’ll be surprised. I’ll say,
      ‘Well, you assumed Jay-Z is a gangsta rapper.’ ”

      Rappers themselves refuse to recognize such distinctions. On his last
      record, commercial titan Jay-Z admitted, “If skills sold, truth be
      told, I’d probably be, lyrically, Talib Kweli.” For his part, Kweli tried to
      attack industry conventions, cutting a remix of “Get By” with Snoop
      Dogg, Busta Rhymes, and Jay-Z that only deepened its themes.
      Then, in a cover story for hip-hop magazine XXL, Kweli held a
      much-discussed interview with 50 Cent, which found the multi-platinum rapper confessing he wished he could rap “conscious” like Kweli.

      Yet there is some distance between the kind of rap that 50 Cent makes
      and Kweli’s. His third album, last year’s The Beautiful Struggle, critiqued
      misogyny, dissected the culture’s fixation with death, and drew
      historical links between Africa and the state of Africans in America.
      “I wanted to make an album that really talked about black life,
      specifically from my perspective, from Brooklyn, and what people
      are going through and what people are dealing with,” he says.

      Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Kweli, a father of two, turns
      thirty this year. Along with Kanye West’s 2004 Grammy-winning The
      College Dropout, Common’s Be, and Blackalicious’s The Craft, grown-up
      rap—hip-hop that embraces its thirties with compassion and wisdom
      coloring the defiant b-boy attitude—is a burgeoning genre. Perhaps some of these records may become as revered as Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly, or Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life—all
      albums recorded by older, wiser artists. But is music enough? Or is it
      simply a distraction?

      That question hovered over a disastrous talk that Kweli and Mos Def
      gave at Chicago’s Field Museum in late 2003 at a conference on hip-hop and
      social change. Before a large crowd of fans, hip-hop activists, and
      street organizers, the two argued that rap artists need to be relieved
      of the responsibility for racial uplift in order to be able to accurately
      represent the community in their art.

      But that statement was poorly received by a vocal contingent. During an
      audience Q & A, Aaron Patterson, a recently pardoned death-row inmate,
      told the rappers they had a global platform and didn’t have the luxury
      of abdicating their responsibility. For the next hour or so, the Field
      Museum auditorium exploded, with fans, activists, and the celebrities
      yelling at each other. Chicago organizer Fred Hampton Jr. stepped
      onstage to try to mediate. Finally, the organizers decided to end the talk.
      There would be no resolution.

      There is a historical context to this blowup. After Jesse Jackson’s
      1988 Presidential campaign ended in a Democratic Party snub and racial
      tensions tore apart David Dinkins’s New York and Tom Bradley’s Los
      Angeles, much attention—and money—shifted from political representation
      to cultural representation. With no compelling young political leaders
      in sight, the media began to make icons of people like Spike Lee and Chuck
      D, whose celebrity seemed in part to be activated by the very weakness
      of black political leadership.

      Entertainment—movies, music, pop culture—took on social weight.
      Cultural producers were, often very reluctantly, being crowned and critiqued as community leaders. No one had ever asked Nina Simone to lead, only to
      sing, but now Chuck D was claiming his music was intended to create
      5,000 new black leaders. Over the last two decades, the need for new
      progressive leadership and new images of racial uplift has only
      intensified. The evening at the Field Museum seemed to encapsulate the
      contradictions of these twin desires.

      Kweli and Mos Def met the next day with Hampton, Patterson, and other
      Chicago activists. They all now work together to publicize the issue of
      racism and political prisoners. The event also helped Kweli clarify his
      own understanding of his role in relation to his generation’s and his
      parents’ generation’s struggle. “Back then, you saw images on TV of
      people getting bit by dogs, people getting hosed down. It was like,
      someone needs to stand up and do something. Turn on the TV now, you see
      dudes driving around in Bentleys. It’s like, ‘We good.’ There’s no
      context,” he says.

      His own resolution to the evening came when he wrote the song “I Try,”
      which features a smoldering performance by Mary J. Blige and concludes
      with a snippet of Hampton’s onstage efforts to mediate the conflicting
      claims. “The first line I wrote on ‘I Try’ was, ‘I’m trying to write
      some shit that bang in the club through the night while people suffer
      tonight.’ I heard that beat and was like, what do I want to do? I want
      to try to write a song that people can dance to. But how can I focus on
      that when there’s so much other suffering and shit to write about?”

      But for all his efforts to address this suffering, he takes pains not
      to exaggerate his own role. “My most diehard fan will say maybe I’m
      putting my life on the line by speaking about certain things on record,” he
      says. “But there’s nothing that, besides everyday dangers and being a black
      man in America, is really threatening my life. I’m not on the front lines
      of the struggle. I’m sort of in a tower with a megaphone. I have to be
      real with myself about what I’m actually doing: I’m in the business of
      entertaining people. If I can do more than that, I will. And I think
      through my career, I’ve proven that I can and will. But I don’t get it
      twisted, like I’m some big activist. That would take props away from
      the people who are really doing it.”

      Jeff Chang is the author of “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the
      Hip-Hop Generation,” which recently received a 2005 American Book
      Award.

      He was a co-founder of the influential hip-hop indie label, SoleSides,
      now Quannum Projects, and a founding editor of ColorLines magazine.

      Published on The Progressive (http://progressive.org)
      Posted In The Spirit of Learning & Sharing
      One Love & Respect Always

      ***************************************
      The Quest for knowledge stops at the grave.
      HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I.


      If you fail to prepare,
      you are preparing to fail!


      Mind what you want, because someone wants your mind.

      Working together, the ants ate the elephant.


    2. #2
      Raha's Avatar
      Raha is offline Be EASY.

      Join Date
      May 2005
      Location
      SW H-Town
      Posts
      2,031
      Blog Entries
      11
      Thumbs Up/Down
      Received: 0/0
      Given: 0/0
      Rep Power
      245

      Talking


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Greetings, Sister Jahness!

      Much love for this article. Talib brings a LOT of issues to light not only about his image and how other perceive himself and his music, but also the images and actions of other rappers.

      I think that he is right in saying that we as a people need to look towards actual activists and those that are out there on the front line instead of those who are entertainment. Of course, you have the exceptions (dead prez, immortal technique, etc.) who are activists first, and musicians second, but for the most part, Talib's statements are on point.

      Thank you for posting this; hopefully, it can help to break down the "boxes" that we put certain people in.

      and :cheers:
      Pyrrhic Victory (New songs are up!): http://www.reverbnation.com/pyrrhicvictory

      Some people take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, when in actuality, no one else is really taking them as seriously as they think.

    3. #3
      Jahness's Avatar
      Jahness is offline OniOni Warrior

      Join Date
      Mar 2005
      Location
      In amerikkka! Stolen from Afrika!
      Posts
      6,827
      Thumbs Up/Down
      Received: 1/0
      Given: 18/0
      Rep Power
      617

      Arrow


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by ThaAlchemist
      Greetings, Sister Jahness!

      Much love for this article. Talib brings a LOT of issues to light not only about his image and how other perceive himself and his music, but also the images and actions of other rappers.

      I think that he is right in saying that we as a people need to look towards actual activists and those that are out there on the front line instead of those who are entertainment. Of course, you have the exceptions (dead prez, immortal technique, etc.) who are activists first, and musicians second, but for the most part, Talib's statements are on point.

      Thank you for posting this; hopefully, it can help to break down the "boxes" that we put certain people in.

      and :cheers:
      Greetings ThaAlchemist!

      One of the things I like about Talib most is the fact that he thinks for himself. He does not allow himself to be caught up in the hype of being a rapper.

      Now we all know that is his foundation as an entertainer etc. but he dooes not allow on this aspect of himself to define all of what he is about.

      Your comment about "the boxes" we put certain people in, is so true. Rappers like Talib breaks this stereotype of being just a rapper, and comes out with very conscious dialogue that speaks to issues that are of great concern to all our people.

      This brothers knows that he has a part to play in this revolution and he goes about making his contributions as wisely as he sees fit. He allows no one to dictate who he is or what he is supposed to be about. He makes those decisions for himself.

      I hope he maintains this type of discipline throughout his career and his life. I wish him continued success.

      Much appreciation to you for your continued contributions.

      Peace & Blessings!
      Posted In The Spirit of Learning & Sharing
      One Love & Respect Always

      ***************************************
      The Quest for knowledge stops at the grave.
      HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I.


      If you fail to prepare,
      you are preparing to fail!


      Mind what you want, because someone wants your mind.

      Working together, the ants ate the elephant.


    4. #4
      Rockaknott's Avatar
      Rockaknott is offline Premium Member

      Join Date
      May 2015
      Location
      North East TriStates
      Posts
      3
      Thumbs Up/Down
      Received: 0/0
      Given: 0/0
      Rep Power
      0

      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Yes! Thank you sister for giving light to what brother Talib has done! He may not think he made a impact but he most definitely has! Salute too my conscience voices and artist. The wording and message is much appreciated! Blessings

    Thread Information

    Users Browsing this Thread

    There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. Talib Kweli: Say Something
      By Raha in forum Conscious Music - Artists - News And Views
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: 08-26-2007, 06:23 PM
    2. The Roots w/Talib Kweli in Houston
      By aiyoka in forum Houston
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: 06-01-2006, 12:10 AM
    3. New Talib Kweli
      By Nesayem in forum Conscious Music - Artists - News And Views
      Replies: 5
      Last Post: 11-12-2005, 01:28 PM
    4. Chillin wit Talib Kweli in the Bay
      By Jacuma in forum Conscious Music - Artists - News And Views
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: 06-05-2005, 04:25 PM
    5. Beautiful Struggle -Talib Kweli
      By Warrior Princess in forum Conscious Music - Artists - News And Views
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: 12-29-2004, 12:04 PM

    Thread Participants: 2

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •  


    About

      Assata Shakur Speaks is an Forum Devoted To Assata Shakur And All Political Prisoners Around The World.
      Assata Shakur Speaks Is An Oasis Of Pan African Information Geared Towards The Liberation Of Afrikan People.

    Follow Us On

    Twitter Facebook youtube Flickr DavianArt Dribbble RSS Feed



    BACK TO TOP