Life is always better with a soundtrack, and time spent hard at work in the office is no different. Therefore, coming your way every Tuesday will be album of the week; a release we can't contain our excitement for or a record we have been reluctant to take off repeat since its first play. We’ll be putting the time in to explore the world of new releases on a quest to bring you the best. While we’re at it, just because we’re feeling generous, we’ll be digging deep into our collections and giving classic albums the airplay they deserve.
(Talib Kweli plays Leeds and London in December)
By the time Talib Kweli came around to recording his first full length solo album, the emcee was already sitting on a reputation of social scholar status. Alongside his partner in rhyme Mos Def, their Black Star project exuded a consciousness that elevated the pair beyond the concrete walls of the Brooklyn projects, painting a vibrantly coloured picture of growth and optimism within the black community like few artists before.
Four years after the release of the only Black Star album, Kweli stepped up with his debut LP Quality, a suitably named album that was well worth the wait. Exuding an increased hardness and urgency in delivery, there is a real sense Kweli had more rhymes than time on the record, seamlessly shifting musical interludes aside to reignite his perpetual flow. With stars such as Pharoahe Monch and Mos Def linking up over the 15 track record, Quality served as a distinguishable marker as hip-hop began to add a new layer to its personality entering the early 2000s. You can listen to the album via Spotify below.
Talib Kweli makes a transatlantic trip to the UK this winter where he will take to the stage of The HiFi Club in Leeds on December 2nd. London calls a few days later as the hip-hop star appears at the Islington Assembly Hall December 7th.
Words by Elliot Ryder
Photos courtesy of Press Here & Now