Music News

Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli used to want to just stop smoking and drinking. But he's been thinking, and he's got his reasons to do more these days than just "Get By." For starters, while his status as an undisputed king of conscientious hip-hop has given Kweli plenty of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, it hasn't translated into mainstream success. The Brooklyn rapper has seen his profile rise with appearances on Chappelle's Show, VH-1's Hip-Hop Honors and Wild 'N Out, but he still played second fiddle to Dave Chappelle, Wu-Tang Clan and (shudder) Nick Cannon. Now it's time for the perennial bridesmaid to have his turn at the hip-hop altar. Kweli declares as much on "Listen!!" -- the first single off Eardrum -- when he announces that 2006 is "the year of the Blacksmith." Problem is, Eardrum, the first major release from Kweli's Blacksmith Records, has been pushed back to January 2007. Until then, looks like Kweli will have to be content with just getting by.
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Nathan Dinsdale