MTV recently caught up with Talib Kweli to talk about his recent debut album with Idle Warship Habits of the Heart. During the interview, Kweli revealed that he and partner in rhyme Mos Def – now Yaasin Bey – are looking to drop a new Black Star project sometime next year. Kweli also added that fans can expect to hear a mixed CD quality version of “Fix Up” – which they recently performed on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” – dropping sometime soon.
“I am working to put out a Black Star project for people to buy sometime next year,” he said. “Me and Mos [Def] are focused on independence and quality of sound. We’re really into a Madlib/Dilla thing right now. Anything you hear from us is probably going to be that type of sound. And it’s about independence, so we are trying to find out the right mediums to get the songs out. When you heard ‘Fix Up’ on Colbert, it wasn’t even mixed; it was something we recorded a week before. Now we’re at the mixing stage of the song and we are going to put that out ourselves. We have a bunch of songs recorded. We are just trying to figure out the best way to release them, whether it’s going to be one by one, EP or album. Right now, the plan is to release ‘Fix Up’ and then Yaasin is working on a Yaasin Bey Presents project and then we’ll see how it goes.”
Kweli also called out major music publications like Spin Magazine and Rolling Stone over what he describes as a fundamental lack of understanding of Hip Hop. Although he doesn’t feel that the magazines are overtly racist, he says that they clearly don’t want to promote politically-minded emcees.
“Just over the years, when I read Spin — this might sound a little crazy — but it’s hard for a black rapper to get love in Spin, especially a black rapper who is talking about the struggle,” he said. “I’m not saying the white rappers they cover are safe, but it’s a white publication that feels very comfortable with rappers when they are not talking about the struggle. Look, I know I’m nice as an MC. Ain’t no question in my mind. But when you look at reviews of me in Spin and how they dealt with me throughout my career, they ended up being very snarky about my sincerity and about who I am as an artist. And that’s not just myself; I notice that across the board. But that’s just one small example.”
He added, “I wouldn’t go as far as to call it racism, but I definitely would say it’s a not-so-subtle form of prejudice. I don’t think they’re inherently trying to stop black people or a movement. People notice what they notice because of how they grew up and where they live and how things affect them. I’m singling out Spin — maybe unfairly — because there are other magazines that I’ve had issues with how they’ve covered what I do. These are publications that are outside of the realm of Hip Hop, even as prolific and as big as Hip Hop is. Even though GQ says, ‘We did a rock star cover’ and two of the people on the cover are rappers. As big as Hip Hop is, there are still big-name publications, whether it’s Spin or Rolling Stone, who just don’t get it.”