After rocking a sold out crowd at the Showbox Theatre in Seattle, WA with fellow Bronx MC Buckshot, legendary lyricist Talib Kweli sits down with MVRemix's DJ INI to discuss his new album and label and what about Seattle has him coming back for more.
MVRemix: I'm with the one and only, BK MC, introduce yourself my man
Talib Kweli: Aight, Talib Kweli yeah yeah.
MVRemix: We're here at the Showbox in Seattle Washington, you just did a show with Buckshot from Black Moon, and you guys ripped it.
Talib Kweli: Thanks man, we enjoyed it.
MVRemix: You mentioned on stage you like performing in Seattle, and you've probably been here more then any other established underground in the past couple years. Why is it that you like performing in Seattle?
Talib Kweli: You know, the people show me love, and they come out to the shows. When I check my e-mail I get a lot of love from people in Seattle, so it's all good.
MVRemix: Anything you liked especially about the show tonight?
Talib Kweli: I really liked having buckshot on the road, it was our first show together, and the energy of the crowd was real beautiful. I've been running around the city all day and I'm very tired, but the crowd really gave me the energy to keep me going.
[Talib takes a call]
MVRemix: You've been a staple in the underground community, that's pretty much undeniable, in your career. Have you ever thought about what you want your legacy to be? After you're gone and out of the spotlight.
Talib Kweli: Just that, you know, I was honest in my expression and in my craft. A lot of MC's create this alter-ego, and I have an alter-ego on stage to a certain degree, but it's really truly based on who I am as a person. That's what I really try to do.
MVRemix: So let's play a quick word-association game. I'm gonna throw you a name of an artist that's in the rap game and I want you to tell me the first word that pops into your head.
Talib Kweli: Aight.
MVRemix: 9th Wonder.
Talib Kweli: North Carolina.
Talib Kweli: F-A-P.
Talib Kweli: Illmatic .
Talib Kweli: Notorious, you said the first word right? [laughs]
MVRemix: 50 Cent.
Talib Kweli: …Crack.
MVRemix: In the song "too late" on Reflection Eternal, you say the line "Where were you the day hip-hop died. Is it too early to mourn? Is it to late to rise?" Nas just came out with the song "Hip-Hop is dead." It's been years since that was released, what do you think the state is right now?
Talib Kweli: I mean, that song was just talking about people who grow up and out of hip-hop, I don't think hip-hop is dead, I think mainstream hip-hop is dead and it's been dead for a long time. If that's the world you're dealing with, then yeah it's dead, but there's a whole slew of artists who are doing different type of things that's very exciting.
MVRemix: What are some of those artists that are coming out that you are feeling that aren't real well known that are doing exciting things?
Talib Kweli: Jean Grae, Strong Arm Steady… I met this dude from Seattle today named "Dre" who was pretty good, but you know I like Saigon, I like Papoose a lot.
MVRemix: So Mos Def has an album coming out, you have an album coming out, what can you tell me about those projects?
Talib Kweli: I don't know a whole lot about Mos' album, but my album is still a work in progress. I very excited about it.
MVRemix: Do you ever get annoyed with people associating you with Mos Def instantly because of you previous affiliation.
Talib Kweli: Not at all! Mos Def is an amazing person to be associated with.
MVRemix: So you take it as a compliment?
Talib Kweli: Definitely
MVRemix: And I know you get asked this 50 times a day, but do you see any future work with Dante [Mos Def], as far as under the Black Star name?
Talib Kweli: God willing. I don't see anything immediately on the horizon, but god willing, sure.
MVRemix: So tell me a little bit about this blacksmith label that you're putting together.
Talib Kweli: Blacksmith is me and Cory Smith. We got Jean Grae, we got Strong Arm Steady, I'm tryin' to just wave a flag for real Hip-Hop and really just give artists opportunities to get their music out there