All Articles Tagged "Talib Kweli"

That’s How You Let The Beat Build: Popular Songs You Probably Didn’t Realize Kanye West Produced

July 29th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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At the beginning of the new Millennium, not many people knew who the hell Kanye West was. Though he had been concocting cold beats for folks since the mid ’90s, his hopes and dreams of becoming a major producer in hip-hop and even having the chance to rap didn’t happen overnight. But fast forward to 2013, and he’s one of the biggest artists in the world. Sure, he’s a complete arse at times, but everybody has a Kanye song, or a Kanye-produced song that their iPod can’t live without (just think of the joy you felt when you discovered Bey’s “Party” for the first time…he’s a genius!), and many of the samples he’s used over the years helped bring major musicians and songs from the past back into the forefront. While you know most of his contributions to music, here are a few bangers that you might not have realized he was behind (unless you are a major hip-hop head or stan).

Wells Fargo, The Kinsey Collection Launch A Video Series Focused On Black History

July 22nd, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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A screenshot from Lance Gross' Wells Fargo Untold Stories clip.

A screenshot from Lance Gross’ Wells Fargo Untold Stories clip.

A new storytelling series detailing the African-American experience from the 1600s to the present has launched on YouTube. With the collaborative efforts of Wells Fargo and The Kinsey Collection — an exhibit that features artifacts chronicling Black life — a documentary-style campaign named “Untold Stories: Our Inspired History” was born, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Hollywood stars such as Jordin Sparks, Lance Gross, Lauren London, and Talib Kweli will serve as hosts of this new Black storytelling experience. “The series is designed to educate viewers about the historical impact of African American history on modern life using the perspective of each celebrity curator,” adds WSJ.

In one video, Lauren London explains how Carrie Kinsey unknowingly began the The Kinsey Collection. In 1903, she wrote a letter to President Theodore Roosevelt asking for his help to find her missing brother. She describes how one man approached her saying that he would take care of her brother and pay her $5 a month. “But I heard of him no more,” Carrie wrote in the letter.

“Carrie Kinsey had no idea this letter was one of the things that inspired Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, her direct descendants, to start their exhibit, the Kinsey Collection,” London added in the video.

The Kinsey Collection is filled with souvenirs of the African-American past that has been on display in eight museums including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. “The Kinsey Collections strives to give our ancestors a voice […] enabling the viewer to understand the challenges, triumphs, and extraordinary sacrifice of African-Americans…” said Bernard Kinsey in a statement.

In another video vignette, Jordin Sparks highlights the accomplishments of Phyllis Wheatley, the first female Black poet to be published. Lance Gross “describes the trials faced by Josiah Walls, an African American statesmen in the 41st and 42nd Congress,” adds WSJ. Lastly, Talib Kweli delves into a 113-year-old letter granting Henry Butler, a Black Man, the ability to buy his family freedom.

The storytelling campaign was created to not only honor our African-American ancestors, but to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The video collection can be viewed on YouTube where fans are welcome to join in on the conversation and share the stories by using the #KinseyUntold hashtag on Twitter.

We’ve got Lance Gross’ clip below and Lauren London’s after the jump.

Responsible Rappers With (Mostly) Clean Lyrics That We Love

June 20th, 2013 - By Meghan Williams
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In a world full of Lil Waynes, Chief Keefs and Nicki Minajs, it’s not often we hear rap music that isn’t laced with expletives and sexually charged, violent lyrics. So those rappers who make it a point to produce clean music are like a breath of fresh air. Which artists fall in this category? Click on to find out.




Will Smith

Back when Will Smith was The Fresh Prince, he secured his place in music history by releasing songs with PG lyrics and wholesome themes. Though other artists have adopted a similar strategy, Will Smith has always been considered one of the cleanest overall.

‘He’s A Misguided 40-Year-Old:’ Talib Kweli Challenges Rick Ross To Apologize For Rape Lyrics

April 3rd, 2013 - By madamenoire
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Credit: WENN

Credit: WENN

From Black Voices

“I don’t care if Rick Ross is 40 years old — he’s a misguided 40-year-old person.”

Strong words from Talib Kweli Monday as he addressed the recent controversy over Rick Ross’ rap verse on the song U.O.E.N.O., in a HuffPost Live segment hosted by Marc Lamont Hill.

While Ross seems to have chalked the controversy surrounding his lyrics up to some unspecified “misunderstanding,” many are not buying his explanation.

“Rick Ross condoned rape in that song … and he should apologize, and his apology that he offered was unacceptable.” Kweli continued.


Conscious or Conflicted? Are They The Truth Or Just Troubled?

January 28th, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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For people like myself who really love music debates, the “conscious rapper” topic is one that tends to get people all riled up.  More often than not, someone’s favorite rapper will get talked about in a negative light and come under fire for their actions not always living up to their words.  I’ve learned to not have any real beliefs in the idea of the “conscious” rapper because when you do, you’re also going to get that human side that you only thought belongs to the “gangsta” rapper.  I don’t believe many of the complaints about the “high and mighty conscious rappers” are warranted. I don’t think it’s right to expect them to ALWAYS talk about the plight of black people or to be positive every second of the day.  Then again, in life you’re often forced to take sides. Anyway, enough rambling – just take a look at a few of the conscious rappers and feel free to let me know what you think (I’m also on Twitter…DrennaB).

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We’re Loving The Talib Kweli, Res Collabo

October 12th, 2011 - By MN Editor
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"res and talib kweli"

We’re loving Idle Warship’s new album “Habits of the Heart,” which dropped today on Spotify – if you haven’t heard already, Spotify is the best music application to come out in 2011. You can listen to whole albums, organize a library of music, compose playlists and download music for free in under a second. Dare we say, it’s even faster than iTunes.

But back to Idle Warship – a collaboration between Talib Kweli and the fierce, Philly-bred rocker, songstress Res! This collabo is a dream come true for fans of the alternative artists and trust us, you will not be disappointed. You can check out the album on Spotify here.

Brothas Who Get It Right!

May 17th, 2011 - By SisterToldja
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We often speak about those brothers who diss women in their music, or who fail to have Black women cast as the leading ladies in their videos, so we think it’s only right to take a moment to acknowledge those who have done right by sisters musically. We love these men for their talent AND the love they show to beautiful Black women in these clips! Check out some of our favorite videos and let us know which ones we may have missed in the comments section!

Songs to Inspire and Uplift Black Women

April 29th, 2011 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Cartoon by Tom Burgos

With all the songs folks request on the radio, watch as videos and dance to in the club, you’d think they would be uplifting to black women. Well, you guessed wrong. If we’re not getting called hos and being told to drop it and shake it and bounce it every five minutes in a song, other black women are calling each other hos, or doing the dropping, and shaking and bouncing in little to no clothing in YouTube videos seen by millions. But not everybody goes out of their way to degrade black women in music. Some people have proclaimed their love for chocolate (of all shades) sistahs out there and have done so in an eloquent manner. You already know we love “Brown Skin Lady” from Black Star, now check out some of the other tracks that put shower us with praise. Feel the love ladies!

Talib Kweli Talks Pepsi NFL Ad and Notion of “Selling Out”

January 26th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(HipHopDX) — When the New York Jets met the Indianapolis Colts for one of the NFL’s wildcard playoff games, Hip Hop listeners and NFL fans might have been surprised to see Talib Kweli rapping alongside Nick Javas during a Pepsi advertisement. Kweli wrote a custom rhyme about the Jets, and joined the ranks of Drake, Jay Electronica, KRS-One and other Hip Hop artists who have rhymed for soft drink companies.

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The Branding Power of Brooklyn

December 23rd, 2010 - By TheEditor
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By Brittany Hutson

There’s something about Brooklyn. And everyone wants the chance to proudly boast that they are in some way, shape or form associated with the borough. No one can pinpoint exactly ‘what’ Brooklyn’s got, but let’s just say it’s a hybrid of history, character, culture and integrity all rolled into one. The region’s authenticity has been an attractive marketing tool for small business owners, as slowly but surely an evolving number of entrepreneurs have picked up the name and tagged it onto their products and services over the years. But lately, the number of businesses utilizing the name Brooklyn is swiftly growing, so much to the point that large corporations have caught on and are following suit.

Within the year, the popularity of Brooklyn as a moniker and advertising vehicle for businesses has become more evident. It’s almost like the latest fashion crave that everybody wants to get their hand on. A vinter called Brooklyn Winery opened in Williamsburg this past October and Brooklyn Soda Works, a “purveyor of ‘artisanal, handmade’ sodas,” started last February in Clinton Hill. These businesses join an evolving family of already-established Brooklyn businesses, including Brooklyn Burger–founded in 1935–Brooklyn Brewery–founded in 1988–and Brooklyn Oenology, a winery based on the edge of Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods that opened in 2008.

Popular corporations that are known for their attempts to tap into urban markets are jumping on board as well. Absolut launched a Brooklyn line of vodka this past summer. Earlier this month, the Gap sponsored a holiday pop-up shop that featured foods found in Brooklyn, such as Brooklyn Salsa, Brooklyn Brew beer-making kits and Brooklyn Brine’s salty spears. Nike introduced Brooklyn-branded sports shoes, called Brooklyn Projects in 2009, and Starbucks has offered Brooklyn-branded coffee drinks.

The propaganda has even gone beyond the borders of the borough due to companies like clothing retailer Brooklyn Industries, which was established in 1998 in Williamsburg and now has branches in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Portland, Ore. "brooklyn industries"

It’s gone international too—Tokyo has a New York-themed jazz bar called Brooklyn Parlor.

“Businesses flock to the name ‘Brooklyn’ because of its instant name recognition,” said Farrah Parker, a small business and image management consultant based in Los Angeles. “Whether you live on the west coast, the east coast, or in an international community, the name ‘Brooklyn’ yields instant recognition.”

Natives have always given homage to the borough, especially in the arts and entertainment arena, which is a large part of why Brooklyn is so appealing. When you think of Brooklyn, you surely don’t forget how Spike Lee introduced Bedford-Stuyvesant to cinema with his classic, “Do The Right Thing,” or leave out the hip-hop artists that proudly rep the region, such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, and Fabolous. Particularly, it’s been Jay-Z and The Notorious B.I.G. that have made “dozens of songs that mention the borough and brand it as a place where all things are possible through determination and vision,” said Parker.

The days of the borough being largely associated with drugs and crime are in the past, and many are even claiming that this “new” Brooklyn could very well be the creative capital of the world, a home for the creative and innovative entrepreneur, musician, artist, and 20-something hipster, that all started because these groups were forced to leave Manhattan for affordable rents and a place where they could make their desired lifestyle viable.

Brooklyn’s proximity to Manhattan is another advantage for the borough because Manhattan serves as a gateway for the region to be introduced to an international audience. Not only that, but entrepreneurs can literally take Brooklyn across the bridge and introduce their brand to a diverse consumer typically associated with having plenty of capital. For instance, there is the Brooklyneer, dedicated to all things Brooklyn (i.e. Brooklyn hot dogs, Brooklyn pickles, Brooklyn whiskey) in the West Village.

With so many businesses embracing Brooklyn, could it ultimately have an adverse affect and dilute the brand?

“We have yet to reach the point where ‘Brooklyn’ is used and abused. Though the use of the word certainly has incredible advantages, the repetitive usage can cause it to lose appeal,” said Parker. “Both small and large businesses should asses their respective markets to determine if saturation exists. For example, a marketing exec should ask, ‘are my competitors using a form of the name or a similar city-related concept that may dilute my branding?’”