Talib Kweli出生于纽约布鲁克林,从小就有文学创作的天赋,高中时开始对Hiphop音乐有一定兴趣,并认识了好友Dante Smith也就是纽约大名鼎鼎的地下说唱好手Mos Def,更加影响了Talib Kweli对Hiphop音乐的探索。1994年他又认识了另一个对他影响较深的人Tony Cottrell也就是DJ Hi-Tek,并参加了Hi-Tek所属组合的唱片Mood的制作。之后Talib Kweli分别和Mos Def以及Hi-Tek合作发行了两张专辑,收到了评论界的好评。2002年,Kweli开始了自己独立的事业,发行了首张专辑<Quality>,当时名不见经传的制作人Kanye West为他制作了"Get By"成了一时的热门单曲。<The Beautiful Struggle>是Talib Kweli的第二张个人专辑。这张发行于2004年秋的专辑无疑成为Talib Kweli最为商业化的专辑,一些著名的歌手以及制作人纷纷参与了这一专辑的合作,之后Talib Kweli与环球解约,转签Koch唱片。   Talib Kweli可谓东海岸饶舌阵营中最耀眼的一颗明星。早在上世纪90年代,他便是当时地下饶舌最具才华的团体之一Reflection Eternal的核心成员。Reflection Eternal解体后,Talib Kweli更曾经与纽约地下饶舌大腕Mos Def共组当年被誉为A Tribe Called Quest接班人的Black Star团体,只可惜组队时间不长。2004年Talib Kweli 发行了他的第一张个人专辑《Beautiful Struggle》 销量不错。   终于开始做个人发展的Talib Kweli虽然在去年凭借一首重新混音的《Get By》成为CLUB里少男少女们的偶像,但在这一年中他仍有非常多纯地下作品发表,可见在取得商业成功的同时,他始终还是心系地下Hip-Hop在音乐本身上所具有的创造力。   前不久,Talib Kweli进行了一系列动作:首先是"内部"小范围发行他的一张MIXTAPE:《Blacksmith: The Movement》,紧接正式对外发行他的第二张个人专辑《Liberation》。这张专辑是和Oakland最好的制作人Madlib在网上合作完成的,里面的全部10首单曲均是"网络歌曲",而现在他正准备着他第三张个人专辑:《Ear Drum》。   在谈到他为什么会通过网络进行合作时,Talib Kweli说:“我最初的目的就是为了好玩,可当我开始认真着手《Ear Drum》时,发现Madlib已经给我提供了400多首BEAT,我心想‘嘿,哥们,你总不能把这些好东西全部放在奶奶的箱子里吧?’所以,我和他完成了《Liberation》这张专辑。在刚开始时,我想到过放弃,因为这些BEAT里有太多采样和别人的一样,但当我看到Madlib是在很用心的做这些东西时,我便不去管那么多了。毕竟,这是我的音乐。” Talib Kweli的制作人可以说是一直很优秀,从最早的Mos, Hi-Tek 到现在的Madlib,个个都是能独当一面的人物。Talib Kweli自己也对他们非常钦佩,他说:“历史上有很多很优秀的制作人,他们不仅能为他人制作出好的音乐,好的唱片,也能为自己做出牛B的专辑。Hi-Tek, Dr. Dre, 9th Wonder以及其他很多人都能够做到这样。当然,Madlib也一样是个优秀的制作人。可我有时候觉得自己就像 Jay Dilla 一样,抱着一大堆的BEAT却不知道用哪个好,有时确实很头疼,你知道,每个都很不错。所以我要抓住每一个机会去尽我所能的唱好每一首歌。当我有一天成长为一个音乐家时,我也可以用不同的声音来尝试不同的效果,做真正自己的音乐。我相信我的FANS们依旧会喜欢我的。”   在对于hip-hop is dead的问题上,Talib Kweli也有他自己的看法。“我认为HIP-HOP正处在一个伟大的时代里。我想人们在谈论HIP-HOP时往往都会想到商业,暴力甚至毒品等等,而他们却依旧在听电台里每天播放的TOP-10歌曲。我不想把他们分开,要知道,HIP-HOP和RAP是一体的。我们都是听着Run-D.M.C长大的,不管你说过多少遍“I'm just a hustler, not a rapper” ,哥们,你知道你还是爱RAP的。我宁愿听到你说你贩毒很牛B,也不愿听到你说你不爱饶舌。在我心中真正的HIP-HOP比BET或者MTV要重要的多,所以,我把我生命中的所有精力都放在这上面,要知道,没有HIP-HOP,就没有我。”   Music career   Early career (1997–2001)   Kweli made his debut in 1997, with featured five appearances on Doom, an album by Cincinnati, Ohio group Mood. In Cincinnati, Kweli met DJ Hi-Tek and the two collaborated on a few well received underground recordings as Reflection Eternal, including "Fortified Live" (1997), and "B-Boy Document 99/Chaos" (1999, featuring The High & Mighty).   Rawkus Records Collaborative Projects (1998–2000)   Shortly afterwards, upon returning to New York, he reconnected with Mos Def and formed Black Star. Kweli brought along Hi-Tek to produce their only album, 1998's Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star. The album, released amidst a late '90s renaissance of conscious, Afrocentric hip hop, was hailed by critics and achieved modest mainstream success. Kweli and Hi-Tek continued their Reflection Eternal partnership on the 2000 album Train of Thought, which was likewise met with critical acclaim, but modest sales. The album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios.   Hip Hop For Respect (2000)   An EP, Hip Hop for Respect, was organized by Mos Def and Kweli to speak out against police brutality, specifically, the case of Amadou Diallo. The project released one EP for Rawkus Entertainment. On February 4, 1999, Amadou Diallo was shot 41 times by four police officers while reaching into his pocket for his wallet. Diallo was unarmed. The project aimed to assemble 41 emcees to represent the 41 shots fired. Rappers featured on the EP include Owen Brown, Evil Dee, Kool G. Rap, Rah Digga, Sporty Thievz, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Common, Pharoahe Monch, Posdonus, Donte and Main Flow of Mood, Nine, Tiye Phoenix, Breezly Brewn' of the Juggaknots, Punchline, Imani Uzuri, El-P and Mr. Len of Company Flow, Jah-Born of Medina Green, John Forté, Mr. Khaliyl, Fre, J-Live, Rubix, Invincible, Wordsworth, A.L., Kofi Taha, Tame One, Jane Doe, Grafh, Shyheim, Channel Live, Wise Intelligent, Cappadonna, Crunch Lo, Rock, Nonchalant, Ras Kass, Dead Prez and Parrish Smith. Producers included Mr. Khaliyl, Organized Noize, and 88-Keys.   Red Hot Organization (2001)   In 2001, Kweli and Mos Def, contributed to the Red Hot + Indigo compilation album created by the Red Hot Organization. The compilation was a tribute to Duke Ellington, that raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease. Black Star collaborated with fellow artists John Patton and Ron Carter to record "Money Jungle". In 2002, Kweli contributed to the critically acclaimed Red Hot + Riot, a compilation CD created by the Red Hot Organization in tribute to the music and work of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti. He collaborated with fellow hip hop artists Dead Prez, Jorge Ben, and Bilal to remake the Fela Kuti song "Shuffering and Shmiling", for the album.   Rawkus Records solo albums (2001–2006)   In 2002, Kweli released his first solo album, which was a move toward a more mainstream sound. Quality featured production from a variety of producers, including DJ Quik and Kanye West. Additionally, Dave Chappelle appeared on Quality. The album was met with widespread critical acclaim and received some mainstream attention thanks to the West-produced single "Get By" which peaked at No. 77 on the Billboard Hot 100. Quality peaked at No. 21 on the US Billboard 200 and at No. 6 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart.   In February 2004, Kweli featured on Kanye West's "Get 'Em High" off of West's debut album The College Dropout.   Kweli made a total of three performances on Chappelle's Show. He was the second musical guest on the show, which aired on January 29, 2003. For his second appearance, Kweli partnered with Yasiin Bey, as Black Star, for the finale of the show's first season on April 9, 2003. His third and final appearance on the show aired one year later on April 7, 2004.   In the summer of 2004, Kweli Kweli, along with Bob Moore's Amazing Mongrels, supported the Beastie Boys on their "Challah at Your Boy World Tour". That same summer, appeared on a Dilated Peoples song called "Live on Stage". A live remix was later featured on the video game NBA Street Vol. 2.   In the summer of 2004, Kweli also performed at Dave Chappelle's Block Party (both as a solo act and as one half of Black Star) and he was later featured in the film and soundtrack.   In October 2004, Kweli contributed to Zap Mama's Ancestry in Progress along with Common and Questlove to create to track "Yelling Away".   In November 2004, he released his second solo album and final Rawkus release, The Beautiful Struggle, which debuted at No. 14 in the Billboard Hot 100. Kweli responded to Jay-Z's 2003 song "Moment of Clarity" in which Jay-Z rapped: "If skills sold, truth be told/I'd probably be, lyrically, Talib Kweli", in his own track, "Ghetto Show" by stating "If lyrics sold then truth be told/I'd probably be just as rich and famous as Jay-Z." Despite this nod, the album featured much more commercial production, including efforts from The Neptunes, Kanye West and Just Blaze.   Trippin is a 2005 MTV environmental documentary television series hosted by Cameron Diaz. On the show, said celebrities visit various ecological locales around the world, in particular underprivileged areas of the world. In 2005, Kweli had appeared in an episode also featuring Justin Timberlake, and Jimmy Fallon. The four of them had taken a trip to Tanzania to visit one of the world's largest and most thriving ecosystems left on the planet, the Serengeti Plain. There, they had gone into the depths of the Serengeti Plain with a few local zoologists at the time.   BlackSmith Records (2005–2009)   In 2005, Kweli released a mixtape-CD off of his newly formed Blacksmith Records. The project was called Right About Now: The Official Sucka Free Mix CD, a title which is considered a response to the criticism of The Beautiful Struggle. The musical offering was generally considered to be a mixtape. Some people regard Right About Now as an album because of its availability through commercial sites and its release of two singles. Right About Now also lacks the DJ overlays often accompanied by mixtapes which makes the CD read more like an album. The album sold 16,000 copies in its first week of release, debuting at No. 113 on the Billboard 200. Sparking some controversy, on Right About Now Kweli sampled Ben Kweller's "In Other Words" for his own song "Ms. Hill". In part seven of Kweller's video podcast series "One Minute Pop Song", Kweller said he found Kweli's use of the song "a little fucked up" due to the fact that it was sampled without permission. In a similar incident, Kweli reacted with outrage on Twitter when a verse from "Fly Away" was sampled in Peter Andre's track of the same name. Kweli stated, "I protect the integrity of my music like a grizzly protects cubs. Woe to those who actively stand in the way of that." Kweli has not publicly addressed his unauthorized use of Kweller's "In Other Words".   In 2006, Kweli signed a distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records for Blacksmith Records. Warner Brothers launched an online community via Second Life for Kweli. In January, Kweli was featured in a commercial for the NCAA's Big Ten Conference, rapping about the league's basketball teams. In February 2006, Kweli provided the voice of the protagonist in the graffiti-themed video game Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. In October 2006, Kweli performed on MTV's Wild 'N Out, hosted by Nick Cannon.   On December 31, 2006, Kweli released nine songs he recorded with underground producer Madlib for free download in conjunction with the web site for Stones Throw Records, the label to which Madlib is signed. The album was entitled Liberation, of which Kweli states in an interview with XXL Magazine that releasing the album was liberating to him.   In 2007, the album was made available for purchase. In 2007 Kweli signed rapper Jean Grae and the group Strong Arm Steady to Blacksmith Records. Also in 2007, Kweli released his third solo album, Eardrum, on August 21. It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The first single was "Listen!!!". “The Perfect Beat" is a song on Eardrum that featured KRS-One and it "Do It Twice" by Bob Marley and the Wailers, which is a drum beat from Paul Douglas. Kweli embarked on a national Australian tour in October, 2007. Eardrum, which featured a mix of mainstream and underground producers like Kanye West, Just Blaze, will.i.am, Nick Speed and Pete Rock, received generally favorable reviews and went on to sell 129,000 copies after four weeks. Also in 2007, Kweli released a mixtape containing rare and collaborative songs, entitled Focus. October saw Kweli play one of China's earliest music festivals, the Yue Festival, organised by Split Works, alongside Faithless and Ozomatli.   In March 2008, Kweli was featured on MTV's TV show Made as the coach of Colin Colt, a young man who wanted to be made into a rap star. Also in March, Kweli released his Hostile Gospel video which appeared as the "New Joint of the Day" on BET's 106 & Park. Kweli was a featured artist on the 9th Wonder and Buckshot album The Formula, released on April 29, 2008 (on the track "Hold It Down"). Kweli's Blacksmith Records split with Warner Bros. Records in December 2008. Kweli confirmed to AllHipHop.com that Warner Bros. would still distribute Reflection Eternal and Kweli projects, but not other acts on the Blacksmith label. Kweli was featured at the fifth installment of Hot 97 radio personality Peter Rosenberg's acclaimed live interview series "Noisemakers with Peter Rosenberg" on October 21, 2009. Kweli recorded a mixtape entitled Party Robot with singer Res and musician Graph Nobel under the group alias Idle Warship. The mixtape was released as a free download on the website for Kweli's label Blacksmith with two different cover art options in late 2009. There were videos shot for two of the songs from the album: "Bedroom Lights" and "Black Snake Moan".   In February 2009 it was announced that Kweli would be featured in the graphic novel-turned-animated series Blokhedz on Missiong.com, voicing the lead part of the character Blak. Additionally, Kweli is a spokesperson and mentor for P'Tones Records a non-profit after school music program which mission is "to create constructive opportunities for urban youth through no-cost music programs."   Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek released a second Reflection Eternal album titled Revolutions Per Minute on May 18, 2010. Revolutions per Minute was recorded at Electric Lady Studios. It is their second album after a 10-year hiatus. The album received generally positive reviews from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 80/100 from Metacritic.   Javotti Media (2010–present)   Gutter Rainbows, Kweli's fourth solo album, was the first to be released by newly formed Javotti Media. The album was originally intended to be released in only a digital format. However, on November 16, 2010, Duck Down Records announced its plans to offer Gutter Rainbows a CD release outside US. This will include an import edition and a special edition with extras. In its first week, the album sold 13,900 copies in the United States. In December 2010, Kweli appeared with Darryl McDaniels, Mix Master Mike and Ahmet Zappa on a cover of Frank Zappa's "Willie the Pimp" for The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAAAA Birthday Bundle 2010.   In 2011, Kweli was featured on the soundtrack for the film Beat the World with the song "Infinite Love".   Kweli's fifth solo album, Prisoner of Conscious, a title derived from Kweli's constant labeling as a "conscious rapper" and based on Nigerian reggae artist Majek Fashek's album Prisoner of Conscience. Before the release of "Rainbows", Kweli began working on "Prisoner", and put cuts originally intended for "Conscious" on "Rainbows". He also confirmed that he will reunite with Madlib to offer Liberation 2. Upon its May 7, 2013 release Prisoner of Conscious was met with generally favorable reviews from music critics, and debuted at number 48 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album feature appearances from Nelly, Miguel, Currensy, Kendrick Lamar, and Busta Rhymes. With production by RZA, J. Cole, Oh No, Harry Fraud, and others. The selection of the tracks on this album were more experimental and worked towards illuminating musicality. Kweli went on to release music videos for "Hamster Wheel", "Upper Echelon", and "Come Here" and more.   Shortly after in August 2013, Kweli announced that in 2014 he will release his next studio album, Gravitas which will contain production from Q-Tip. The album included guest appearances from Raekwon, Black Thought, and The Under Achievers with production by OhNo, Statik Selektah, and J Dilla.   In November 2016, he released a compilation mixtape with to promote Javotti Media's developing artists, Awful People Are Great at Parties.   2017 saw two releases from Kweli; The Seven, a joint effort with Styles P of The Lox in April and his eighth solo album, Radio Silence in November.
  Talib Kweli出生于纽约布鲁克林,从小就有文学创作的天赋,高中时开始对Hiphop音乐有一定兴趣,并认识了好友Dante Smith也就是纽约大名鼎鼎的地下说唱好手Mos Def,更加影响了Talib Kweli对Hiphop音乐的探索。1994年他又认识了另一个对他影响较深的人Tony Cottrell也就是DJ Hi-Tek,并参加了Hi-Tek所属组合的唱片Mood的制作。之后Talib Kweli分别和Mos Def以及Hi-Tek合作发行了两张专辑,收到了评论界的好评。2002年,Kweli开始了自己独立的事业,发行了首张专辑<Quality>,当时名不见经传的制作人Kanye West为他制作了"Get By"成了一时的热门单曲。<The Beautiful Struggle>是Talib Kweli的第二张个人专辑。这张发行于2004年秋的专辑无疑成为Talib Kweli最为商业化的专辑,一些著名的歌手以及制作人纷纷参与了这一专辑的合作,之后Talib Kweli与环球解约,转签Koch唱片。   Talib Kweli可谓东海岸饶舌阵营中最耀眼的一颗明星。早在上世纪90年代,他便是当时地下饶舌最具才华的团体之一Reflection Eternal的核心成员。Reflection Eternal解体后,Talib Kweli更曾经与纽约地下饶舌大腕Mos Def共组当年被誉为A Tribe Called Quest接班人的Black Star团体,只可惜组队时间不长。2004年Talib Kweli 发行了他的第一张个人专辑《Beautiful Struggle》 销量不错。   终于开始做个人发展的Talib Kweli虽然在去年凭借一首重新混音的《Get By》成为CLUB里少男少女们的偶像,但在这一年中他仍有非常多纯地下作品发表,可见在取得商业成功的同时,他始终还是心系地下Hip-Hop在音乐本身上所具有的创造力。   前不久,Talib Kweli进行了一系列动作:首先是"内部"小范围发行他的一张MIXTAPE:《Blacksmith: The Movement》,紧接正式对外发行他的第二张个人专辑《Liberation》。这张专辑是和Oakland最好的制作人Madlib在网上合作完成的,里面的全部10首单曲均是"网络歌曲",而现在他正准备着他第三张个人专辑:《Ear Drum》。   在谈到他为什么会通过网络进行合作时,Talib Kweli说:“我最初的目的就是为了好玩,可当我开始认真着手《Ear Drum》时,发现Madlib已经给我提供了400多首BEAT,我心想‘嘿,哥们,你总不能把这些好东西全部放在奶奶的箱子里吧?’所以,我和他完成了《Liberation》这张专辑。在刚开始时,我想到过放弃,因为这些BEAT里有太多采样和别人的一样,但当我看到Madlib是在很用心的做这些东西时,我便不去管那么多了。毕竟,这是我的音乐。” Talib Kweli的制作人可以说是一直很优秀,从最早的Mos, Hi-Tek 到现在的Madlib,个个都是能独当一面的人物。Talib Kweli自己也对他们非常钦佩,他说:“历史上有很多很优秀的制作人,他们不仅能为他人制作出好的音乐,好的唱片,也能为自己做出牛B的专辑。Hi-Tek, Dr. Dre, 9th Wonder以及其他很多人都能够做到这样。当然,Madlib也一样是个优秀的制作人。可我有时候觉得自己就像 Jay Dilla 一样,抱着一大堆的BEAT却不知道用哪个好,有时确实很头疼,你知道,每个都很不错。所以我要抓住每一个机会去尽我所能的唱好每一首歌。当我有一天成长为一个音乐家时,我也可以用不同的声音来尝试不同的效果,做真正自己的音乐。我相信我的FANS们依旧会喜欢我的。”   在对于hip-hop is dead的问题上,Talib Kweli也有他自己的看法。“我认为HIP-HOP正处在一个伟大的时代里。我想人们在谈论HIP-HOP时往往都会想到商业,暴力甚至毒品等等,而他们却依旧在听电台里每天播放的TOP-10歌曲。我不想把他们分开,要知道,HIP-HOP和RAP是一体的。我们都是听着Run-D.M.C长大的,不管你说过多少遍“I'm just a hustler, not a rapper” ,哥们,你知道你还是爱RAP的。我宁愿听到你说你贩毒很牛B,也不愿听到你说你不爱饶舌。在我心中真正的HIP-HOP比BET或者MTV要重要的多,所以,我把我生命中的所有精力都放在这上面,要知道,没有HIP-HOP,就没有我。”   Music career   Early career (1997–2001)   Kweli made his debut in 1997, with featured five appearances on Doom, an album by Cincinnati, Ohio group Mood. In Cincinnati, Kweli met DJ Hi-Tek and the two collaborated on a few well received underground recordings as Reflection Eternal, including "Fortified Live" (1997), and "B-Boy Document 99/Chaos" (1999, featuring The High & Mighty).   Rawkus Records Collaborative Projects (1998–2000)   Shortly afterwards, upon returning to New York, he reconnected with Mos Def and formed Black Star. Kweli brought along Hi-Tek to produce their only album, 1998's Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star. The album, released amidst a late '90s renaissance of conscious, Afrocentric hip hop, was hailed by critics and achieved modest mainstream success. Kweli and Hi-Tek continued their Reflection Eternal partnership on the 2000 album Train of Thought, which was likewise met with critical acclaim, but modest sales. The album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios.   Hip Hop For Respect (2000)   An EP, Hip Hop for Respect, was organized by Mos Def and Kweli to speak out against police brutality, specifically, the case of Amadou Diallo. The project released one EP for Rawkus Entertainment. On February 4, 1999, Amadou Diallo was shot 41 times by four police officers while reaching into his pocket for his wallet. Diallo was unarmed. The project aimed to assemble 41 emcees to represent the 41 shots fired. Rappers featured on the EP include Owen Brown, Evil Dee, Kool G. Rap, Rah Digga, Sporty Thievz, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Common, Pharoahe Monch, Posdonus, Donte and Main Flow of Mood, Nine, Tiye Phoenix, Breezly Brewn' of the Juggaknots, Punchline, Imani Uzuri, El-P and Mr. Len of Company Flow, Jah-Born of Medina Green, John Forté, Mr. Khaliyl, Fre, J-Live, Rubix, Invincible, Wordsworth, A.L., Kofi Taha, Tame One, Jane Doe, Grafh, Shyheim, Channel Live, Wise Intelligent, Cappadonna, Crunch Lo, Rock, Nonchalant, Ras Kass, Dead Prez and Parrish Smith. Producers included Mr. Khaliyl, Organized Noize, and 88-Keys.   Red Hot Organization (2001)   In 2001, Kweli and Mos Def, contributed to the Red Hot + Indigo compilation album created by the Red Hot Organization. The compilation was a tribute to Duke Ellington, that raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease. Black Star collaborated with fellow artists John Patton and Ron Carter to record "Money Jungle". In 2002, Kweli contributed to the critically acclaimed Red Hot + Riot, a compilation CD created by the Red Hot Organization in tribute to the music and work of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti. He collaborated with fellow hip hop artists Dead Prez, Jorge Ben, and Bilal to remake the Fela Kuti song "Shuffering and Shmiling", for the album.   Rawkus Records solo albums (2001–2006)   In 2002, Kweli released his first solo album, which was a move toward a more mainstream sound. Quality featured production from a variety of producers, including DJ Quik and Kanye West. Additionally, Dave Chappelle appeared on Quality. The album was met with widespread critical acclaim and received some mainstream attention thanks to the West-produced single "Get By" which peaked at No. 77 on the Billboard Hot 100. Quality peaked at No. 21 on the US Billboard 200 and at No. 6 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart.   In February 2004, Kweli featured on Kanye West's "Get 'Em High" off of West's debut album The College Dropout.   Kweli made a total of three performances on Chappelle's Show. He was the second musical guest on the show, which aired on January 29, 2003. For his second appearance, Kweli partnered with Yasiin Bey, as Black Star, for the finale of the show's first season on April 9, 2003. His third and final appearance on the show aired one year later on April 7, 2004.   In the summer of 2004, Kweli Kweli, along with Bob Moore's Amazing Mongrels, supported the Beastie Boys on their "Challah at Your Boy World Tour". That same summer, appeared on a Dilated Peoples song called "Live on Stage". A live remix was later featured on the video game NBA Street Vol. 2.   In the summer of 2004, Kweli also performed at Dave Chappelle's Block Party (both as a solo act and as one half of Black Star) and he was later featured in the film and soundtrack.   In October 2004, Kweli contributed to Zap Mama's Ancestry in Progress along with Common and Questlove to create to track "Yelling Away".   In November 2004, he released his second solo album and final Rawkus release, The Beautiful Struggle, which debuted at No. 14 in the Billboard Hot 100. Kweli responded to Jay-Z's 2003 song "Moment of Clarity" in which Jay-Z rapped: "If skills sold, truth be told/I'd probably be, lyrically, Talib Kweli", in his own track, "Ghetto Show" by stating "If lyrics sold then truth be told/I'd probably be just as rich and famous as Jay-Z." Despite this nod, the album featured much more commercial production, including efforts from The Neptunes, Kanye West and Just Blaze.   Trippin is a 2005 MTV environmental documentary television series hosted by Cameron Diaz. On the show, said celebrities visit various ecological locales around the world, in particular underprivileged areas of the world. In 2005, Kweli had appeared in an episode also featuring Justin Timberlake, and Jimmy Fallon. The four of them had taken a trip to Tanzania to visit one of the world's largest and most thriving ecosystems left on the planet, the Serengeti Plain. There, they had gone into the depths of the Serengeti Plain with a few local zoologists at the time.   BlackSmith Records (2005–2009)   In 2005, Kweli released a mixtape-CD off of his newly formed Blacksmith Records. The project was called Right About Now: The Official Sucka Free Mix CD, a title which is considered a response to the criticism of The Beautiful Struggle. The musical offering was generally considered to be a mixtape. Some people regard Right About Now as an album because of its availability through commercial sites and its release of two singles. Right About Now also lacks the DJ overlays often accompanied by mixtapes which makes the CD read more like an album. The album sold 16,000 copies in its first week of release, debuting at No. 113 on the Billboard 200. Sparking some controversy, on Right About Now Kweli sampled Ben Kweller's "In Other Words" for his own song "Ms. Hill". In part seven of Kweller's video podcast series "One Minute Pop Song", Kweller said he found Kweli's use of the song "a little fucked up" due to the fact that it was sampled without permission. In a similar incident, Kweli reacted with outrage on Twitter when a verse from "Fly Away" was sampled in Peter Andre's track of the same name. Kweli stated, "I protect the integrity of my music like a grizzly protects cubs. Woe to those who actively stand in the way of that." Kweli has not publicly addressed his unauthorized use of Kweller's "In Other Words".   In 2006, Kweli signed a distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records for Blacksmith Records. Warner Brothers launched an online community via Second Life for Kweli. In January, Kweli was featured in a commercial for the NCAA's Big Ten Conference, rapping about the league's basketball teams. In February 2006, Kweli provided the voice of the protagonist in the graffiti-themed video game Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. In October 2006, Kweli performed on MTV's Wild 'N Out, hosted by Nick Cannon.   On December 31, 2006, Kweli released nine songs he recorded with underground producer Madlib for free download in conjunction with the web site for Stones Throw Records, the label to which Madlib is signed. The album was entitled Liberation, of which Kweli states in an interview with XXL Magazine that releasing the album was liberating to him.   In 2007, the album was made available for purchase. In 2007 Kweli signed rapper Jean Grae and the group Strong Arm Steady to Blacksmith Records. Also in 2007, Kweli released his third solo album, Eardrum, on August 21. It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The first single was "Listen!!!". “The Perfect Beat" is a song on Eardrum that featured KRS-One and it "Do It Twice" by Bob Marley and the Wailers, which is a drum beat from Paul Douglas. Kweli embarked on a national Australian tour in October, 2007. Eardrum, which featured a mix of mainstream and underground producers like Kanye West, Just Blaze, will.i.am, Nick Speed and Pete Rock, received generally favorable reviews and went on to sell 129,000 copies after four weeks. Also in 2007, Kweli released a mixtape containing rare and collaborative songs, entitled Focus. October saw Kweli play one of China's earliest music festivals, the Yue Festival, organised by Split Works, alongside Faithless and Ozomatli.   In March 2008, Kweli was featured on MTV's TV show Made as the coach of Colin Colt, a young man who wanted to be made into a rap star. Also in March, Kweli released his Hostile Gospel video which appeared as the "New Joint of the Day" on BET's 106 & Park. Kweli was a featured artist on the 9th Wonder and Buckshot album The Formula, released on April 29, 2008 (on the track "Hold It Down"). Kweli's Blacksmith Records split with Warner Bros. Records in December 2008. Kweli confirmed to AllHipHop.com that Warner Bros. would still distribute Reflection Eternal and Kweli projects, but not other acts on the Blacksmith label. Kweli was featured at the fifth installment of Hot 97 radio personality Peter Rosenberg's acclaimed live interview series "Noisemakers with Peter Rosenberg" on October 21, 2009. Kweli recorded a mixtape entitled Party Robot with singer Res and musician Graph Nobel under the group alias Idle Warship. The mixtape was released as a free download on the website for Kweli's label Blacksmith with two different cover art options in late 2009. There were videos shot for two of the songs from the album: "Bedroom Lights" and "Black Snake Moan".   In February 2009 it was announced that Kweli would be featured in the graphic novel-turned-animated series Blokhedz on Missiong.com, voicing the lead part of the character Blak. Additionally, Kweli is a spokesperson and mentor for P'Tones Records a non-profit after school music program which mission is "to create constructive opportunities for urban youth through no-cost music programs."   Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek released a second Reflection Eternal album titled Revolutions Per Minute on May 18, 2010. Revolutions per Minute was recorded at Electric Lady Studios. It is their second album after a 10-year hiatus. The album received generally positive reviews from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 80/100 from Metacritic.   Javotti Media (2010–present)   Gutter Rainbows, Kweli's fourth solo album, was the first to be released by newly formed Javotti Media. The album was originally intended to be released in only a digital format. However, on November 16, 2010, Duck Down Records announced its plans to offer Gutter Rainbows a CD release outside US. This will include an import edition and a special edition with extras. In its first week, the album sold 13,900 copies in the United States. In December 2010, Kweli appeared with Darryl McDaniels, Mix Master Mike and Ahmet Zappa on a cover of Frank Zappa's "Willie the Pimp" for The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAAAA Birthday Bundle 2010.   In 2011, Kweli was featured on the soundtrack for the film Beat the World with the song "Infinite Love".   Kweli's fifth solo album, Prisoner of Conscious, a title derived from Kweli's constant labeling as a "conscious rapper" and based on Nigerian reggae artist Majek Fashek's album Prisoner of Conscience. Before the release of "Rainbows", Kweli began working on "Prisoner", and put cuts originally intended for "Conscious" on "Rainbows". He also confirmed that he will reunite with Madlib to offer Liberation 2. Upon its May 7, 2013 release Prisoner of Conscious was met with generally favorable reviews from music critics, and debuted at number 48 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album feature appearances from Nelly, Miguel, Currensy, Kendrick Lamar, and Busta Rhymes. With production by RZA, J. Cole, Oh No, Harry Fraud, and others. The selection of the tracks on this album were more experimental and worked towards illuminating musicality. Kweli went on to release music videos for "Hamster Wheel", "Upper Echelon", and "Come Here" and more.   Shortly after in August 2013, Kweli announced that in 2014 he will release his next studio album, Gravitas which will contain production from Q-Tip. The album included guest appearances from Raekwon, Black Thought, and The Under Achievers with production by OhNo, Statik Selektah, and J Dilla.   In November 2016, he released a compilation mixtape with to promote Javotti Media's developing artists, Awful People Are Great at Parties.   2017 saw two releases from Kweli; The Seven, a joint effort with Styles P of The Lox in April and his eighth solo album, Radio Silence in November.
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Talib Kweli
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