observations, reviews and ramblings about Hip-Hop culture, sports, politics and the industry and life in general.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thanks Kweli

this guy appreciates Kweli

Let's keep it real, the mega human brand that is Kanye 'to the' owes a tremendous debt to one Talib Kweli Greene.

Before Kanye was too sexy for his shirt he earned his backpacker respect by producing 'Get By' and a bunch of joints on 'Quality.' I remember when we recorded 'Mood Swing' - the joint Kweli did with Asheru. Kweli was playing joints off of 'Quality' and talking about the beats he got from 'this dude Kanye that works with Jay-Z.' My response was 'you mean that dude Kane?' (a problem with Mr. West's plaques).

Kanye may have hit gold with H to the Izzo (overated) and the Scarface joint but he got his Hip Hop Nazi/Bougie Hip Hop fans from Kweli.

The inspiration for this post? Listening to the 'Get By' remix on the C train. Which made me think of the line (and I paraphrase) 'Hov ain't get a beat from me in a minute / He heard 'Just To Get By' and I was re-hired.' Even the Louis Viton Don would agree. Plus I remember an interview where Kanye spoke on how he modeled his live show after Kwel and how going on tour with Kweli was the biggest boost to his career.

Anyhoo, I say this to say how fucked up it is that Kanye's status has so wholehearyedly eclipsed Kweli's. On paper Kweli is a better MC although not nearly as entertaining. The bottom line is that there is no good reason why there is a such disparity between the two.

Kanye should take out a full page ad in the Times thanking our man Twig Ali aka Kweli. (what up Hodge).

(Another 'who cares' moment. At the Apollo in 2002 or something with J-Live. We had to share a dressing room with Kanye. We looked on the door and was like 'who the hell is this'. Went in. Drank all the beer and ate all the food. 20 min later Kanye and crew walk in with the same look. 'who the hell is J-Live?' They bounced and an hour later I'm like who is this clown rhyming in a white dinner jacket. Who knew?'

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Blogger ian said...

> The bottom line is that there is no good reason why there is a such disparity between the two.

Unquestionably Kweli broke Kanye but it would have happened anyway with or without him. That was always gonna be Kanye's destiny. He's got too much ambition and talent for it not to have happened.

Kweli's my dude but his swag is NOWHERE close to Kanye's. He's kind of a boring dude talking about sh*t only overly-earnest college students really appreciate/care about. No knock, that's just who he is. When he tries to get "fly" with his gear and to keep it "hood" or dumb it down in his lyrics, it sounds really forced and frankly, wack.

Funny thing is Kanye talks about a lot of the same stuff but somehow manages to do it with some kind of flair that draws people in plus he's more of a personality and just more interesting in general. Can you really imagine Kweli having made some of the videos Kanye has (Touch the Sky etc.) or dressing the way Kanye does? If he did, he would have caught it WAY worse than Common ever did when he started to go left with his wardrobe. THAT's the difference between them.

May 18, 2007 3:16 PM


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