Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Aug 8th, 2017

Talib Kweli and Styles P: The Seven

Talib Kweli and Styles P
The Seven
(Javotti Media/ 3D)

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I’ve had a personal experience with Talib Kweli, so I’m probably subconsciously biased. He’s also a fellow Brooklyn native. That makes me super biased then. He’s very vocal on social platforms on political topics, but many aren’t truly versed on his talent. Styles P to me is one of the most underrated “rappers” to do it (i.e. rap incredibly). I use quotations because I’d rather say MC.

I enjoy both artists immensely in their own right, and the mere fact that they decided to create a project together is amazing to me. Let’s do a quick lesson on who these fellas are. Talib Kweli, hio-hop artist and social activist has been in the game for a long while. In 1996 he beganm and was featured 5 times on an album titled Doom by Mood (a group out of Cincinnati, Ohio).

I came to know of him like many through his collaborations with another respected artist, Mos Def (now known as Yasiin Bey). Kweli’s lyricism gives a clear indication of the fact that he’s the son of an English professor. Styles P, well known as a part of The Living Legends and super group The Lox. His street credibility and skill make him well respected from an underground music perspective.

These two gentlemen could be considered polar opposites, although I personally get it. They titled the project The Seven, and in the prelude they explain what it represents. The Seven in a nutshell expresses truth. Both Kweli and Styles P have remained authors of the truth through their music since day one.

Kweli chose a more poetic approach while Styles P was the harsh, blunt reality, both necessary, just a matter preference. Like the title suggests they only did 7 songs. Although small, it’s significant at a time when quotes like “Black lives matter” need to be mentioned daily.

My favorite song is “Brown Guys.” The production seems selective. I also noticed all the production has either jazz or live instruments. “Brown Guys” also lyrically shows exactly who both of them are as MCs. My next joint (record) would be “Teleprompters” featuring Common and Lil Vice. It has a Kanye West production feel, which is always good. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Common, a Chicago-bred MC who also is often overlooked.

“In the Field” is a song, but also a history lesson on slavery and its generational effects on the Black community to this very day. It’s almost a musical soliloquy on racism, social status, and how educated and impoverished communities are affected alike. The rest of the project is in sync conceptually and flows.

It’s music to make you think (not the most popular idea, but needed). It’s an album I’m sure will be studied years from now. If you’re “woke” this one is for you and you will thoroughly enjoy.

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Talib Kweli and Styles P: The Seven