Never one to disappoint, Talib Kweli is back with another addition to one of the most consistent discographies in hip-hop. This album is filled with just really pleasant-sounding hip-hop from front to back, that hip-hop you can play around your parents or children and not get any complaints regarding foul language (although it isn’t completely clean, just not so blatant). It’s always a good thing to hear Talib rock a mic, and he does so here with the consistency that a 15-year veteran should. Right from the beginning we hear him on that speedy-rap he’s been known to do from time to time with a high rhyme-density. He also has a tribute to Rakim on “Turnt Up” as the first bit of the song sounds much like “Paid In Full” before Talib gets into his own rhyme pattern.
The guest features are mostly good fits on this album. While I’m not a big Miguel fan, his hook on “Come Here” is probably the most tolerable of his I’ve heard. Busta Rhymes of course does his thing over RZA production, something I don’t think we’ve seen on a Talib Kweli album before. Nelly came out of nowhere with a decent verse, Melanie Fiona had a nice hook, and Rubix & Bajah (who I’ve never heard before) kept up with Kweli nicely on some fast-paced raps. Surprisingly, the least exciting guest features were Curren$y and Kendrick Lamar on “Push Thru”, although it might’ve just been a boring hook and beat to that song. I find I’m writing about the guest features a lot because it’s implied that Talib does his thing on this album as usual. The production is hit or miss, but overall it’s another good album. Kweli has another album coming out this year called Gravitas, which is being released a little over a week from now; be on the lookout for that.
My Grade (based on how well I connected with it, no disrespect if your experience was different): B
Come back to my blog tomorrow to see which album or mixtape came in at #21 on the countdown!