You can see my Black Thought, like ‘Riq Trotter…

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The BK MC, Mr. International, Passport Pimpin’, CEO of Blacksmith, releases his latest and doesn’t disappoint.

1. Everything Man

Spoken word poetry, when done right, touches your soul. It doesn’t even have to rhyme, it could be all about the syllables and the delivery. A nice couple of verses are spit here by middle aged woman as the Madlib production creeps in every so gently. Kweli proclaims at the start “You can’t please everybody…” (No shit, We’ll forever be fiendin’ Reflection Eternal 2) then he goes in, as only Kweli can. 5/5

2. NY Weather Report

Sweeping violins mixed with some good old boom bap. I would have liked those rubs in the chorus to sound a bit more vinyly. 3/5

3. Hostile Gospel (Pt. 1) (Deliver Us)

Two words, Just Blaze. I appreciate the artistry of this track. The choir opens the track up with some chilling flourishes before the beat drops. This is the type of Talib track that I like, honest observations mixed with some truthful uplifting rap. 5/5

4. Say Something (feat. Jean Grae)

I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is Yes. Jean Grae is one of the greatest female MCs of all time. This track is 100% hip-hop battle rap. It’s refreshing sometimes to hear people lyrically get down. will.i.am dodges my hate (If I don’t like it, I don’t like it, that don’t mean that I’m hatin’ (c) Common) because Jean and Talib absolutely flex their lyrical muscle all over the track. 4/5

5. Country Cousins (Feat. UGK & Raheem Devaughn)

Sounds like a family reunion on the weekend, BBQ going, kids running around playing tag in the backyard, dominos in full effect, sun shining. When I first heard ABOUT this track I was skeptical about the pairing. After hearing this track I can’t believe I thought that. 4/5

6. Holy Moly

Another two words: Pete Rock. Holy Moly is right. Some producers can bring the best out of artists. My head started nodding when the beat dropped. Only thing I didn’t like was it’s only one verse. 4/5

7. Eat To Live

People often forget that Talib is also a very good storyteller. I appreciate that he speaks to the youth. Another smooth soulful Madlib production. 3/5

8. In The Mood (feat. Kanye West & Roy Avers)

This is my favourite track on the album. Partly because of my Kanye bias. But also because this is WAY better than “Never Been In Love” lyrically. (Cabbie, you’re a damn fool in the intro of that vid.) Nice lounge-type beat, ‘Ye drops an hilarious 16. 5/5

9. Soon The New Day (Feat. Nora Jones)

Second Favourite track of the album. Nora Jones’ voice is just so syrupy and soothing. I’d equate this track to a summer time rain storm that you’d sit on the porch and just watch when you were a little kid, it’s almost hypnotizing. 5/5

10. Give ‘Em Hell (feat. Coi Mattison & Lyfe Jennings)

You can also see a different version this song here. I actually prefer that version. 3/5

11. More or Less (feat. Dion)

First single. (or was it Listen!!!?) Boom Bap. Of course it’s Reflection Eternal. And if you didn’t understand what I just said. I guess you aren’t really a Kweli fan are ya? 5/5

12. Stay Around

That’s Kool And The Gang right? I have that on vinyl. Pete Rock again. I don’t know how I feel about that chorus. That muted horn just chillin in the background is crazy though. 4/5

13. Hot Thing (feat. will.i.am)

The Newest (Third? Second?) single. This was another favourite of mine on the album that stayed on repeat for a while. Another good but certainly not great will.i.am production and guest spot. “The white voice when you’re handlin’ business…” THAT’S REAL TALK. 4/5

14. Space Fruit Interlude (Feat. Sa-Ra)

If you’re not up on Sa-Ra, GET YOUR LATE PASS. They’re the future. Hopefully after Graduation drops, Kanye puts some dollars behind them. 4/5

15. The Perfect Beat (feat. KRS-One)

They didn’t find it here. All praises due to the Teacha, he came and blessed. But just felt like filler from the get-go. 2/5

16. Oh My Stars (feat. Musiq Soulchild)

It kinda cheeses me that those kids spit that at the start, and that 16 was better than 80% of the shit out right now. Musiq throws down. He’s definitely a talented cat. That coolout bass is sparkling and refreshing. 4/5

17. Listen!!!

This track will always remind me of NBA Live ’07 (You don’t want this in the Dunk off TRUST ME.) Fun Fact: This track was out almost a year ago. 3/5

18. Go With Us (Feat. Strong Arm Steady) (BONUS)

More like, Strong Arm Steady featuring Talib Kweli. And I mean, I understand their on your label. But I didn’t like Strong Arm Steady before. I still don’t like Strong Arm Steady after this. 1/5

19. Hostile Gospile (pt. 2) (Feat. Sizzla) (BONUS)

This beat knocks. Sizzla does an OK job here. My head still nods which must mean something was done right here. 4/5

20. The Nature (Feat. Justin Timberlake) (BONUS)

If Warner Brothers is cutting that check, this would be the next single up to bat. This is an amazing song and another one of my favourites out of the album cuts. Talib needs more things like this to help the masses consume his messages. Sometimes a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and in this case it works just fine. 5/5

RECAP: The BK MC is getting his grown man rap on, doing it better than most, and running his new label too. The Beautiful Struggle lacked the cohesiveness. Liberation was a sign that times are changing for the better. And Eardrum is a refreshing album, filled with all sorts of topics and tempos. To the point that I loafted on writing this review up for an entire week because I was enjoying this album that much. It still suffered a bit at a lengthy 20 tracks deep; the filler tracks stood out like a soar thumb. Yet I was so pleased that I actually went out and bought this in the store. And it’s arguably the best solo effort from him to date.

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4 Responses to “You can see my Black Thought, like ‘Riq Trotter…”

  1. The-XFacta Says:

    Great review

  2. jay Says:

    good review – feeling the album too. where would we grownup hiphop heads be without the likes of mr “i can’t pronounce it, quali” kweli.
    p’s

  3. Bootlegg Bill Says:

    Talib put his foot in this album.

    I agree with you on the comment about the “Nature” song with Justin.

    Talib should do a whole EP of “Just to Get By/Nature/Listen” type songs to beat people over the head. He is already pegged as being a “conscious” rapper. Might as well make doe of it an make it his staple product. KnowhatImean.

    I was suppriesed by the corny producers outshining the dope producers (Will-I-am and Justin Timberlake = Hi- Tek but >>>>>>>Pete Rock and Just Blaze’s contributions. IMO.

  4. Late Pass: Hostile Gospel Pt. 1 « On My Paper Says:

    […] Talib Kweli – Hostile Gospel Pt. 1 (Deliver Us) via Eardrum […]

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