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Talib Kweli Ear Drum

  • Words: James Mayo
  • Label: Blacksmith-Warner Bros.

Not too many rappers can namedrop authors Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jean Auel and still sound funky, but Brooklyn-raised MC Talib Kweli pulls it off on the debut for his own Blacksmith Records. On "Hostile Gospel," Kweli's razor-sharp rhymes address the state of a hip-hop dis-union that's trapped in an identity crisis. (Guest-and recent Blacksmith signee–Jean Grae references Nas on the will.i.am-produced "Say Something" by saying "Hip-hop is not dead. It's on vacation.") On "More or Less," Kweli and Hi-Tek reunite to prescribe an action plan for a more perfect union, while he and UGK kick it like "Country Cousins" as they travel down hip-hop's memory lane. A rejuvenated look for one of rap's premier intellectuals.

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