Talib Kweli - conducted by DJ Hyphen & J. Moore  


Talib Kweli: Sunday Night Sound Session

September 2006

These are the transcripts of an interview with Talib Kweli on DJ Hyphen & J. Moore's "Sunday Night Sound Session" on Seattle's KUBE 93.3 FM. For more info. on DJ Hyphen click here, originally aired September 2006.


MVRemix: Alright man, introduce yourself.

Talib Kweli: Talib Kweli, B.K. MC - Blacksmith all day. Mr. International... The Big Lebowski...

MVRemix: [chuckles] Are you a big fan of that movie?

Talib Kweli: Yeah.

MVRemix: I love that movie.

Talib Kweli: I know it by heart. I met Jeff Bridges he told me he went to The Big Lebowski...

MVRemix: Lebowski-fest?

Talib Kweli: Yeah, "The Big Lebowski" fest - everyone dressed like "The Dude" and "Walter."

MVRemix: You're up here doing a show tonight, taking some time out from working on your new album "Eardrum."

Talib Kweli: Yeah, the chop-suey...

MVRemix: What's the current status of the project, "Eardrum"? Is it done, is there a release date?

Talib Kweli: It's almost done. We have a release date on a schedule, November 7th I think that's what it is. But you know, it's not completely done yet, I'm still working.

MVRemix: I know I was reading one of your MySpace blogs about how you've got to do all these interviews and do shows and whatnot, so it kind of slows down the process of getting the album out. But what's the meaning behind the title? What do you kind of want to accomplish on this one? Does it differ at all from you previous work?

Talib Kweli: Well hopefully, god willing it's different, god willing it's a progression from what I've been doing. "Eardrum" is meant to have you focus on the sounds and have you focus on how the sounds hit your ear. The ear and the drum are two very powerful instruments, powerful on their own. When you put them together it's an actual instrument inside your ear - it sounds good. I want the stuff to sound good and hit your ear in a certain way.

MVRemix: The lead single plays off of that, "Listen," which we've played a couple times - what do you want to represent with that song? I know the video's real dope, real visual stuff - they can see that on your MySpace page - we don't get the videos shown these days...

Talib Kweli: Right, go to YouTube or MySpace for the video. But Kwame produced that record and the record was a good record to put out for my fans, I've got all types of different records and different sounds on this album, but that record was done relatively quickly and was right in the vain where people wanted to hear me at. I'll go on record to say "Listen" is a great record, when we perform it, the crowd more and more every night is more and more into it. But that's a record I could do in my sleep, I want to do records that challenge myself. That's a record that is done with me saying, "Alright, this is what y'all wanna hear - this is what I'ma do for this record."

MVRemix: Speaking of Kwame producing that lead track, who else did you work with on the album in terms of producers on this record and maybe other guest artists?

Talib Kweli: Production we have DJ Hi-Tek, DJ Khalil from Self Scientific, Madlib, Just Blaze, Pete Rock, Kanye West, Midi Mafia...

MVRemix: Vitamin D?

Talib Kweli: Not yet, but soon come. Features; we have Kanye on it, Norah Jones, UGK, Sizzla, Jean Grae, Strong Arm Steady...

MVRemix: My dude Phonte wanted me to put it in your ear and bug you... He wanted to know if the Little Brother track is gonna make the album?

Talib Kweli: I'm not sure... The LB track, "Grown Men Business," it'll definitely be on the Blacksmith mixtape - "Blacksmith: The Movement" mixtape, but I haven't re-written my verse yet. If I re-write my verse and it's fire, then I might.

MVRemix: You gonna come back with the Canibus/LL Cool J style...

Talib Kweli: [chuckles] I'ma diss Phonte and them...

MVRemix: Speaking of the fans and giving them what they want, is there anything in the works with Hi-Tek, Mos Def - Black Star/Reflection Eternal projects, because that's seriously all the questions people want asked...

Talib Kweli: I mean...

MVRemix: It's insane how bad the fans want this and how bad they're clamouring for this...

Talib Kweli: I have two groups of fans, I have fans that never heard of me until "Beautiful Struggle" and I got fans that never heard of me until "Get By" with whom that Black Star/Reflection is not as romantic to them. I have fans that hit me up and go, "Yeah, I've got to catch up on that stuff - what does everybody talk about this Black Star/Reflection Eternal?" For the fans that are into that stuff, it's bittersweet. Because on one level, for some people that were into underground Hip Hop in the late 90's, the Black Star and the Reflection album - that's they "Thriller." Can Michael Jackson make another "Thriller"? Probably not. So can I make another "Thriller"? Nah, I'ma make something different and that's where the Blacksmith thing comes in. It's like I did the "Quality" album not because I didn't want to do Black Star, I didn't want to do Reflection Eternal. At that particular time, I couldn't find these dudes and I had to go out and do my thing. Now, Hi-Tek produced three songs on the "Beautiful Struggle" album - a lot of my fans don't even know that. "Get back with Hi-Tek! You should get back with Hi-Tek!" "He produced three songs on The Beautiful Struggle." "Oh, I didn't know..." "That's because I did get back with Hi-Tek and what we created you wasn't checkin' for." People sometimes think that they really want something, but they don't really want it. They may not really want where me and Hi-Tek are in 2006, 'cause Hi-Tek is a different dude, and I'm a different dude. Now he is producin' on this album, I'm on his single that's comin' out... It's me, Jadakiss, Papoose and Raekwon - it's called "New York, New York." That'll be on my album as well, we just filmed a video for that... I got this other album I'm workin' on with Madlib called "Liberation," I put up a song on Myspace on it called "Funny Money." That album I'm just gonna be puttin' out soon. The Madlib stuff, that's closer to a Hi-Tek sound and that's an album that I could just do in my crib. I've done that album already. If you guys want that album, here you go. I'ma do it, give it to you for free.

>> continued...





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"They may not really want where me and Hi-Tek are in 2006, 'cause Hi-Tek is a different dude, and I'm a different dude. Now he is producin' on this album..."