Tag Archives: Talib Kweli

New Music: Talib Kweli Drops “Heads Up Eyes Open” Music Video ft. Rick Ross

BY TER STAFF

Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Talib Kweli has recruited Rick Ross and Yummy Bingham for his new single and music video, for ‘Heads Up Eyes Open’. With visuals directed by SMITHHOUSE, Kweli’s new track is off his forthcoming Radio Silence project, which drops on November 17th on Kweli’s Javotti Media label.

Both the video and track touch on issues of media misrepresentation, police brutality and spirituality, which should come as no surprise as Kweli has always been one of the more vocal and political artists in rap. And in anticipation of Radio Silence, Talib is hitting the road this month and the next for a number of tour dates throughout the U.S. (dates below).

Watch Talib Kweli’s new music video for ‘Heads Up Eyes Open’ below.

Continue reading New Music: Talib Kweli Drops “Heads Up Eyes Open” Music Video ft. Rick Ross

Throwback Thursday Review: Black Star | Mos Def and Talib Kweli

blackstar
BY EVAN VOGEL

Back in the 90’s hip-hop was finally establishing itself as a concrete art form with more than enough substance to justify its existence. Artists were creating the music that they wanted to make and more often than not, poetically depicting the harsh lifestyles of the hood or experimenting with lyricism. All of that is fine and dandy and actually thrust the art into what many will defend as the golden age of hip-hop, but being concerned with progression, few were actually reflecting on its current state. This all changed in 1999 when two MC’s decided to postpone their debut solo projects and create one of the most eye-opening hip-hop albums of all time. Mos Def and Talib Kweli effectively took on the role of street prophets, laying down some of the most critical and lyrically sensical rap of the decade.

They didn’t just make songs about street violence or the value of money, but rather critiqued artistic glorifications and depictions of them, turning hip-hop on its head. From the very first track, save the intro, the duo bonded over the word black being used as a term of endearment rather than a limitation. It contains bass-heavy, funky guitar strings and impeccable flows from both Def and Kweli. Def swings the chorus with subtle back-up vocals from Kweli and it solidifies the equation for the remainder for the remainder of the album.

Then, on ‘Definition’, we get two rappers standing up for the hood as examples of what you can become, rather than simply reflecting on their rough upbringing. “Best alliance in Hip-hop”. Their words, also mine. I have yet to hear a hip-hop duo top the palpable chemistry between these two verbal acrobats. Their analogies bleed the wisdom of two guys who could deliver hip-hop-based sermons, “Me and Kweli close like Bethlehem and Nazareth.”

The boom-bap style reflects that of the classic and lethal combination of KRS-One and DJ Premier. Here though, it is Cincinatti-based producer Hi-Tek that helms a majority of the production. Its combination of rumbling bass guitars, snappy drums and and other low tones, roots the project’s sound in the years preceding it. The simple, organic tones allow the two MC’s to explode with multisyllabic rhyme schemes, occasionally even pushing out grocery lists of rhymable words one after the next like Kweli on ‘Brown Skin Lady’,

“You fruitful, beautiful, smart, lovable, huggable,

doable like art, suitable to be part,

of my life.”

Coming out at the end of a decade that showcased so much diversity in the genre afforded them the opportunity to take a little bit of everything from the musical buffet and put in on the plate that was their album. The colorfully playful, 80’s style that Eric B and Rakim came up on is resurrected on ‘B Boys Will B Boys’. They also allowed visions of the future to infiltrate their sound on the highly electronic synths of ‘Hater Players’. The album’s main exhibit is the lyrical proficiency and consciousness of Kweli and Mos Def. Its poetry that can be picked apart and listened to differently each time you hear it. Even sitting here now, realizing that this came out a ridiculous fifteen years ago, it is made all the more astounding that it is as eye-opening and as sonically pleasing as just about anything I have ever heard. Bar for bar, this is one of the greatest album’s of all-time.

 9.8

Songs of the Week featuring FKA Twigs, King Louie, Jaden Smith and More!

BY TER STAFF

gambinosongs

The best and brightest of this past week in music, as well as a throwback track! Hopefully you can bump these on the way to work to brighten up your Monday mornings! Make sure to check out our SoundCloud page where we post some of our past songs of the week. Continue reading Songs of the Week featuring FKA Twigs, King Louie, Jaden Smith and More!

Throwback Thursday Review: The College Dropout | Kanye West

The College Dropout
BY DAN GARCIA ★★★★★

On Thursdays we review albums that are considered “classic”. This week it’s the classic album that introduced us to Kanye West, The College Dropout This album is still today considered one of the best, if not the best, freshman albums of all time (up there with Nas’ Illmatic and 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’). This album, released by Roc-A-Fella Records, was the album that people told the young producer that he could never make. Instead however, not only was it pressed, but it was received with wide critical acclaim and gave us classic hip-hop tracks like ‘Jesus Walks’ ‘All Falls Down’ ‘Through the Wire’ and ‘Slow Jamz’.

Continue reading Throwback Thursday Review: The College Dropout | Kanye West

Interview | K’Valentine

BY DAN GARCIA

Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

This past weekend Talib Kweli set us up with one of Chicago’s emerging young artists, K’Valentine. From Chicago’s South Side, K’Valentine started her rap career from her passion for poetry and has been actively committed to her music since she began rapping. While speaking with K’Valentine backstage at the North Coast Music Festival after her performance with Kweli, she told us about her journey over the past few years, how she first got in touch with Talib, and her upcoming project “Organically Earned” (you heard it here first!), due out later this year and executively produced by Talib Kweli.

Continue reading Interview | K’Valentine

Interview | Talib Kweli

BY DAN GARCIA

Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Talib Kweli continues to be one of the most active voices in hip-hop and black culture since his inception into the genre during the mid-1990s in Brooklyn, New York. If you don’t best know him for his music, including his critically acclaimed albums and singles (such as his hit ‘Get By‘), his work Mos Def (making up half of the legendary rap duo Black Star) or being the artist who first introduced us to Kanye West (inviting the young Chicago producer/rapper to tour with him), you may likely know him for his social activism. Often praised for the messages in his music, rapping about equality, compassion, and issues of great dignity (gravitas if you will), Kweli is not afraid to go to extra lengths to commit himself to the issues he raps about.

Continue reading Interview | Talib Kweli

Interview | Talib Kweli

BY DAN GARCIA

Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Talib Kweli continues to be one of the most active voices in hip-hop and black culture since his inception into the genre during the mid-1990s in Brooklyn, New York. If you don’t best know him for his music, including his critically acclaimed albums and singles (such as his hit ‘Get By‘), his work Mos Def (making up half of the legendary rap duo Black Star) or being the artist who first introduced us to Kanye West (inviting the young Chicago producer/rapper to tour with him), you may likely know him for his social activism. Often praised for the messages in his music, rapping about equality, compassion, and issues of great dignity (gravitas if you will), Kweli is not afraid to go to extra lengths to commit himself to the issues he raps about.

Continue reading Interview | Talib Kweli

North Coast Music Festival Saturday Recap

BY DAN GARCIA

Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Today began North Coast Music Festival’s second day of acts, with performances by artists such as Talib Kweli, Little Dragon, Kid Cudi and many others. Tomorrow will close the festival’s 5th Anniversary with performances by Snoop Dogg, Riff Raff and more.

Continue reading North Coast Music Festival Saturday Recap

10 Acts We’re Most Excited to See at North Coast Music Festival 2014

BY DAN GARCIA

 

In our inaugural year and summer as your daily source for music, we were given the great opportunity of being invited to cover Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival‘s 5th Anniversary. If you find yourself in Chicago this weekend, The Early Registration has the acts that you should be most excited to see.

Continue reading 10 Acts We’re Most Excited to See at North Coast Music Festival 2014

Musicians and Ferguson: Bringing Awareness to a Great Cause

BY JACOB BALLESTERO

Photo by Robert Cohen/AP

Unfortunately we all know of the travesty in Ferguson, Missouri, where unarmed teen Michael Brown was shot down by police on August 9, 2014. Ever since that night, those who feel the sting of injustice knowing that Brown was shot at least six times while unarmed have began to protest, both violently and peacefully. While those that are currently situated in Ferguson are protesting, many prominent musicians have also began to protest both physically and through their words. Let us take a look at some of the big names in music currently supporting the people of Ferguson and their cause.

Continue reading Musicians and Ferguson: Bringing Awareness to a Great Cause