Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Recently interviewed the BK emcee via email (I can't front) for Exclaim! Click the excerpt below for the whole interview and my review of his new album Gutter Rainbows. Spoiler: it's pretty dull. I'm all about that 80s Brooklyn bump on "I'm On One". The new style.
Conscious rappers don't age well and Gutter Rainbows, Talib Kweli's fifth solo album, doesn't shake this preconception. Fresh off last year's solid Reflection Eternal reunion, Kweli is largely on autopilot over terrycloth production and soft batch R&B choruses; the best songs here energize Kweli by linking him with hard beats. "Tater Tot" is a compelling audio cinematic about an Iraq veteran, while Marco Polo's swirling strings and trumpets on "Palookas" set up fierce spitting from Talib and Sean Price. Kwe flows lovely on "I'm On One," Khrysis's beat rolling and knocking like '80s Brooklyn. Kweli and Jean Grae connect for verbal manslaughter over the ominous organ rolls and bumping bass of "Uh Oh." The warm, sincere "Friends and Family" sees Kweli warmly reflecting on his rap career thus far. Treat Gutter Rainbows as a dry run for Prisoner of Conscious, his next studio album, and it goes down much easier.
Also reviewed Ghostdeini's new record here. "Black Tequila" is the jam.