Talib Kweli at the Crocodile 7/17!Posted by Julie Cochran
Veteran rapper Talib Kweli will stop at the Crocodile this Wednesday as part of his “Prisoner of Conscious Tour” — named in homage to his eponymously titled sixth solo album. In the late 1990s, Kweli gained notoriety performing with Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) as Rawkus Records’ Black Star. After garnering critical acclaim with the 1998 release of Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star, the duo went on to pursue their own projects. Bey began pursuing a career in acting while Kweli went on to work with Producer Hi-Tek and later, Kanye West on 2002’s LP Quality. A single from the album, “Get By” charted in Billboard’s Top 100 and earned the Kweli more mainstream attention and in 2004 he made an appearance on Kanye West’s debut album, rapping on the single “Get ‘Em High” and later performing a number of times on the final episodes of Chappelle’s Show.
In 2004, Kweli released his final album for Rawkus Records before going on to form his own label, Blacksmith Recordings which today is home to artists such as Jean Grae and Idle Warship. Last year, Black Star reunited for the release of a few songs from a mix-tape titled, Black Star Aretha, which has yet to be revealed in its entirety. The title of Kweli’s solo album, Prisoner of Conscious, is said to be a reference to the media’s frequent tendency to label Kweli as a “socially-conscious” rapper. Be this positive or negative, the first single off Prisoner, “Distractions,” does nothing to dispel the artist’s reputation for socio-political awareness. In a comment on the Youtube page for the song, Kweli explains with a paragraph-long statement how the Arab Spring influenced him to create the track, as well as the history of its genesis at the Occupy Wall Street Protests.
Opening for Kweli are up and coming Seattle artists J. Pinder (Fin Records), the genre-blending Raz, and DJ Vega The Virgo.