Album review

Talib Kweli - Quality

Talib Kweli grew up in the same neighbourhood as Mos Def, they've often collaborated, and the two even run an education centre in Brooklyn. No surprise, then, to find Mos Def among the guests on Talib Kweli's album, alongside Common, Res and Bilal.

Whether he's being flippant or concerned, it's lyrically potent stuff, and musically he deploys most of the trademark devices of modern hip hop.

Yet he also draws on a wider heritage of modern African-American music, so that on "Keynote Speaker" he almost becomes a modern-day Gil Scott-Heron, while "Waiting For The DJ" invokes the spirit of George Clinton. Refreshingly cliché-free.

Rating: 3 / 10


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The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...