Talib Kweli Says Drake Is The Most Important Rapper Of 2013

Exclusive: Talib Kweli says Drake is "making honest music" and "making hit records."

Talib Kweli, who recently discussed his Gravitas album and who also released Prisoner Of Conscious through Javotti Media this year, was recently asked to discuss the most important rapper of 2013. Excluding himself, Kweli said that the most important emcee of the year was Drake.

"Most important emcee of 2013?" Talib Kweli said in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "Drake. Drake is killing them. Drake is making honest music. He's making hit records. He's got lyrics for the dudes and he's got subject matter that any human being can relate to, dude or female. He's just really killing the game. He's really turned himself into the rapper to check for, and the number one emcee, the top tier emcee." 

Kweli also said that Drake has great potential, if he is consistent with his work. 

"If he can maintain his relevance for another couple years, he'll be considered one of the greats up there with your Tupacs and Biggies and Jay Zs and even Kanye Wests. But Drake has doing a great job this year." 

In an interview published December 18, Kweli spoke about both albums he's released in 2013.

"[With] Prisoner of Conscious, the focus was definitely to show people, musically, you like my music because I make great music," Kweli added. "The focus of Gravitas is definitely lyrics and me telling my story. Prisoner of Conscious was like, 'I'm making songs.' I'm like, 'Okay, I'm making this song. Let's see what this song is about. Here's a song with Miguel…' I'm proud of Prisoner of Conscious. I worked on it for four years. It was the album I wanted to make. But immediately after I finished making it, I felt the need to start writing. ...This is for fans of mine who already know that I'm dope musically. They just want to hear dope lyrics. So this album is for them." 

RELATED: Talib Kweli - Gravitas [Album Review]

150 Comments

  • Anonymous

    What is Talib smoking!! saying "Drake has great potential, if he is consistent with his work", is cool, but this ain't the 1st time that mans been talking shit. Certain artists these dayz are on some dicklick, bumlicking, foot-worshiping bollocks!!! We Africans need to take back HipHop!!

  • Matthew Hinzman

    Ayo Drake mah negggor but Kenrick is gayyy.mah boi meeek had a betta yea.

  • Matthew Hinzman

    ah dar ene1 2 respowd!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    not goin to even read comments yet already kno niggas hatin up here lol

  • Anonymous

    NJ awards were wayyy better than hhdx's

  • Anonymous

    THE ONLY REASON PEOPLE HATE DRAKE IS BECAUSE HE IS LIGHTSKINNED, SOFT AND FROM CANADA. A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT SAYS HE'S WHACK NEVER LISTENED TO HIS ALBUMS, JUST HIS SINGLES ON THE RADIO. BUT TRUST ME, HE'S ONE OF THE FEW NIGGAZ THAT NEVER DISAPPOINTED IN A FEATURED SONG. I THINK HIM AND JADA

  • CP

    if you want to have a real discussion about music, money cannot be included. some of the best musicians in history made no money at all. what sells is just that, what sells, it's got nothing to do with what sounds good. if you're too drunk or high to tell the difference, you should keep your mouth shut when grown folks talk.

  • CP

    who really cares about the record industry? i don't care about the 'industry' part of it, i'm not an acting participant, if you wanna blow a&r's to get ahead, you and drake have something in common. happy sperm collecting!

  • Anonymous

    any true music fan would know Rick James revived the Motown label and could compose songs, a pussy boy like you only remembers the braids, coke and a Chappelle skit Keith Sweat has composed for many, still around getting hundreds for a show ticket, only bitches like you think because he ain't in the spotlight and topping the charts that he's washed up Drake hopes he can have that type of staying power and Drake would know you're typing words of a fool who don't know sh*t about the music industry

  • CP

    record sales do not equal talent/ at least not today. people that buy drake, lil wayne, rick ross, etc. are basing their decisions off what they are force-fed, not that they are hearing dope music. it's not about young/old, it's about quality versus quantity. sure, drake sells a lot of records, but it's just not quality music to me. i have no bad personal feelings towards the guy, i don't even know him, and i couldn't care less about his money, it has no effect on me. just sayin, he's a pop/ r&b act, same category as michael jackson. he has no business being included in the same ranks as nas/biggie/rakim/tupac, end of discussion.

    • Anonymous

      same here, he has repeatedly said he'll never make a purely hip hop album, i doubt whether he truly considers himself hip hop

  • TheRealness

    Lmao music in general is a joke nowadays and I can't believe this sh*t is coming from Talib Kweli smfh.

  • CP

    pop act, not worthy of real MC status, compare Drake to Rakim, no comparison, end of argument, dude's an r&b artist at best, start a new argument, i just ended this one

    • ^

      Yeah, side with Drake the pop artist who doesn't even make hip-hop music over Rakim, the hip-hop legend who revolutionized the game. You're an idiotic sheep who follows everything the radio/MTV/BET tells you because you can't think for yourself.

    • Anonymous

      Ok. Let's compare the two. Drake has sold millions. Charts songs left and right, and tours like crazy. Rakim can't even get a new album out. Is best known for shit from the 90's, and blew his one chance at possible superstardom with Dre. So go ahead and side with the has been. Judging by your words, you sound like a has been.

  • Anonymous

    Give Drake a year or two then he going to rule the world

  • Anonymous

    Drake is the greatest man to ever walk this earth

  • OnkelMichael

    You s a faggot son. Go suck off a dick to Drake.

  • Anonymous

    what the fuck is dis???

  • Anonymous

    Talib, WHAT THE FUCK

  • Anonymous

    drake is sensitive bitch

  • Anonymous

    hey Kweli go suck his dick

  • Anonymous

    Kendrick lamar you bitch

  • MIC

    I love how as soon as someone says something remotely positive about Drake, all ya'll haters immediately start talking about riding dick. By doing that, youre riding the dick of every other artists out there. Remember, the more you hate on Drake, the more famous he becomes. Drake was the number 1 most mentioned person on twitter in 2013. Know why? Cause people like ya'll dont like him. If you honestly don't like him and dont want to see him succeed, keep his name out your fucking mouths. Otherwise youre doing nothing but spreading his name and subliminally supporting an artist you hate. Smart ones.

    • Anonymous

      MIC, you are a sad individual who needs a life.

    • MIC

      Hahahaha keep trying little bitch! Talk all that shit youre making me lmao right now fuckboy.

    • ^

      And here we have a stupid dickrider who defends a guy that doesn't know he exist, that doesn't know anything and always lie to make his hero look good. WE DON'T BELIEVE YOU, YOU NEED MORE PEOPLE.

    • MIC

      ^And here you have youre typical low life hater whose not only spreading Drake's name more, but also proving me right in the process. Congratulations, simpleton.

    • ^

      Ladies and gentlemen, here's your typical idiotic Drake stan acting like a sensitive bitch ass groupie.

  • Anonymous

    lool that should be the title of his new album Kweli on drakes dick

  • Anonymous

    Kweli on drakes dick

  • Anonymous

    ja rule + 50 cent + lil wayne = drakes turn bye bye lil wayne

  • Anonymous

    jump on his dick Talib Kweli

  • Ray

    Should I for the first time loose respect for Talib cause of his opinion? Drake over Kendrick? I don't know

  • drake runs rap

    just remember you virgin nerd haters online are a minority and will for ever be a minority. Its almost an undeniable fact that drake is the face of rap and he runs it now. Numbers opinions from legit musicians and rappers prove it so stay being internet nerd virgins online broke ass haters.

  • Anonymous

    "Drake is at the bottom while Keith is at the top" The top of what, the bargain bin? lol

  • riv216

    Everybody showing the boy love.... Stream or download my new music project "Progression": http://www.datpiff.com/RIV-Progression-mixtape.563835.html All music videos can be viewed here in 720/1080p High Definition: http://www.youtube.com/user/YaboyRIV

  • youngsta

    haha, even the backpackers' favorite rapper cosigns drake. give it up haters. drake is on top of the game and he is going nowhere. drake is here to stay. #NWTSAlbumOfTheYear #OVO #HatersStayMad

  • Anonymous

    "he ain't even on Keith Sweat's level" Your right. Drake is on the top of the ladder, while Sweat is somewhere below the bottom. Rick James lol I won't even touch that one.

  • sxxx9

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QNb_pmed_0

  • Anonymous

    Right before Doe B died, he whispered to his homeboy, Drake is my favorite rapper.

  • yeaaahh

    All of you who are saying Drake is popular because of singing is right.. Drake is more than JUST a rapper.. Nobody wants to hear a boring ass rapper talk about the same shit as another boring ass rapper. Drake has mastered his own style which is hard to do these days. Songwriting is the most important thing and he's such a great writer to the point where he's even writing for other artists now. He's hands on while most rappers just spit a verse and leave the rest for the producers to handle. Rap fans get so caught up in boundaries to the point they don't even consider other possibilities...which is why I say rap fans know the least about music compared to fans of other genres..

    • Anonymous

      He's FAR from underrated, especially with niggas like you riding his nuts. No one's bashing him because he's mainstream, they bash him because his music is ass. Nothing you say is logical at all. You're just being a butthurt stan. Everybody knows his music is the same.

    • MIC

      Stop UNDERrating the man just cause he's famous and everyone cops his shit! You dumb ass motherfuckers judge the first mainstream record you hear just because its mainstream. Doing that is mainstream in itself. You have no logical argument. You're fucking stupid if you think he always talks about the same shit because im certain you haven't heard 100% of his music.

    • Anonymous

      I know about songwriting and Drake's songwriting isn't that special, since he always talks about the same things, women, money, success, and people around him. Stop overrating the man.

    • MIC

      If you had any good sense of songwriting, you'd understand. I'm so sorry you were deprived of that.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, because all of those songs have excellent writing. LOL FOH. Aubrey has become a lazy songwriter and it shows.

    • MIC

      @sarcasm try listening to Drakes songs that ARENT all over the radio and the press. Listen to songs like "Too Much", "Furthest Thing", "Look What You've Done", etc. Don't judge an artist based on the mainstream hype. Started from the bottom is one song out of hundreds. Open your mind, simpleton.

    • Sarcasm

      Yeah, repeating the song title a repetitively torturous amount of times is great songwriting.

    • Anonymous

      lol show me where Drake is doing Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gsye, Maurice White, Rick James songwriting he ain't even on Keith Sweat's level that standom don't override facts and history son, lol

  • Anonymous

    Talib Kweli be saying some bullshit nowadays.

  • Champagne Papi Life

    Drake should be in everybody's Top 10. Very few artists have positively impacted hip-hop the way Drake has in such a short amount of time. From Premo, to Kweli, to Raekwon, etc. real hip-hop legends know that Drake is one of the best. What do Frank Sinatra, Beethoven, Miles Davis, Bob Marley and Drake have in common? They were real niggas, who made timeless music and revolutionized the face of music forever.

  • Anonymous

    Face it America. Drake is more than just a rapper/artist. He's an entertainer on the same level of MJ, if not bigger.

  • 3 HEADEDMONSTAH

    I GET IT, I GET IT, I GET IT. I SWEAR I GET IT! HAHAHA I guess if he can remind someone to call there grandmother than he is important to hip hop.. smh.. no for me, I stick with K.dot and Jcole

  • MMLP IS TRASH

    drake is trash

    • Anonymous

      You're not right about anything, it's the opposite. Go ahead and keep posting. You're the one who keeps talking shit over a computer like it makes you real hard. You don't have a life because you're here all day dickriding a guy you don't know. While everyone else, me included, are continuing on with their lives. Your last 7 sentences are typical bullshit stan comments that have no truth in them. Do something with your life other than spend your days defending and dickriding famous people who dont give a fuck about you.

    • MIC

      Whoever you are, You keep proving me right. Bahahaha its fucking funny how clueless you are to your own stupidity. Im wasting my time here. Go ahead and keep posting. Keep talking shit over a computer like it makes you real hard. Im going on with my life and that doesnt include staying on here to listen to you dumb ass motherfuckers hate on a guy you dont know. This argument could go on for years, bro. The fact of the matter is, If you dont like Drake's music, Get the fuck out of here!!! Thats like a KKK clansman going to the hood JUST to talk shit. Its pointless. Get a job. Buy a house. Fuck a hooker. Do something OTHER than spend your days talking shit about famous people who, in turn, dont give a fuck about you either.

    • ^

      Oh, look. A retarded Drake stan dickriding a guy that doesn't know and doesn't give a shit about him defending his honor and just sees his fans as paychecks. You stans are so predictable, not knowing anything, always bringing up your hero's money and success like that makes them GOAT. LOL FOH.

    • HA

      And now all you 100% predictable haters are gonna make dick-riding references and start calling me Stan, groupie, etc. Same old shit. Come on, hurry up and start talking your shit. Im in a bad mood and some amusement would make sure make my day better.

    • HA

      Yeah Drake is such trash. What do you do for a living? What is your net worth? Could you sell 800,000 copies of a cd in one week? Sounds like Youre trash.

  • Anonymous

    Talib's just trying to get fans from today's crowd to buy his album. It won't work, of course... But I get it.

  • Anonymous

    CHIL guys Talib has a new album coming out so he needs publicity. Tomorrow; Talib Kweli says Lil Wayne is the best rapper ever

  • keith

    Drake can rap but i dont like his music all that much ... he sings way too much and can't really sing... he sings in one key and it sounds the same all the time.... I don't care for his flow too much either ..often sounds like he is simply talking and too many word trying to be crammed into a line.... I know he hot right now but he won't ever get my money for what he is doing.

    • MIC

      Bahaha you're such a simpleton. Have a nice life faggot! Post what you want I wont ever see it. I have something called a "LIFE WITHOUT INTERNET". Get one, fuck boy.

    • ^

      The only dumbfuck here is you. You deny defending him, yet you continue doing that. You're a groupie in denial. You're just wasting your time defending a guy who doesn't care about some stan defending him on the Internet.

    • MIC

      Groupie? Ahaha like I said, he dont care about ANY of us. I dont expect him to. And Im not directly defending him. Im telling you about how your time is being wasted by talking shit about him. youre only spreading his name more, no matter what you say. As long as the word Drake comes out of peoples mouths, he's just gonna get more press. Dumbfuck.

    • ^

      Guess what, groupie? Drake doesn't care about you defending him like his personal superhero. You can act like an online cheerleader all you want, he doesn't care. He doesn't know you exist and if he did, he wouldn't give a shit. To him, you obsessive fans are nothing more than paychecks. Now go cry in your corner like the sensitive bitch you are.

    • MIC

      Drake dont care about any one of us! Jesus get over yourselves thinking anything you fucking say matters. You can call Drake a "Fag" or make jokes about riding his dick but at the end of the day, Drake's not gonna see it. Drake's not gonna try to see it. He's gonna go about his day and keep making enough money to get you killed, pay for your funeral, and then pay actors to cry at your funeral because nobosy else will.

    • Anonymous

      And Drake doesn't care about you defending him, stanley.

    • Anonymous

      Drake doesn't care about you Keith, but thanks for that shitty opinion.

    • Tapeworm

      Thank you i'm glad more people see this

  • naa

    Talib Kweli is the last person id expect to say something like that. Till Drake has a real battle with a real MC or makes a real rap record, he will be forever trash to me.

    • Anonymous

      Fact: Nothing you say is true at all. He thinks he's hood when he's not. He started from the middle, not the bottom. And that Canadian TV show wasn't small-time, it's a huge hit that airs on US television (it can't be small-time if it's on US airwaves). No matter how much he made, he was a teenager who got paid more than other teenagers his age working at Mickey Ds.

    • MIC

      Fact : You DONT know what he thinks. You DONT know where he started. And you DONT know how much money he made from that small-time canadian teen tv show.

    • ^

      You're wrong about everything, Stanley McDickiss. You don't know him personally, either, so cut that crap. Drake does think he's a hood nigga talking about catching bodies and he never started from the bottom. He was on a TV show, for God's sake, making more money than the average man.

    • MIC

      You don't know drake so dont fuckin talk all that shit like you so sure what goes on in his head. You wouldnt know it IF he DID think he was hood. Which he obviously doesnt. And you dont have the first fucking clue if he started from the bottom or not. You think cause hes famous that you know every single little aspect of the life he's lived? Wrong, simpleton.

    • Anonymous

      That shit was weak. And Aubrey always thinks he's from the hood, talking about catching bodies and starting from the bottom when he doesn't know anything about the bottom.

    • MIC

      First off, NOBODY needs to battle rap to be a legitimate rapper. Nobody. Battle rap is a sub genre. Second, A "real" rap record is anything honest and from the soul. Which Drake does. He doesnt have to make a record about selling drugs and gangbanging for it to be real. "I find peace knowing that its harder in the streets, I know. Luckily I didn't have to grow there. I would only go there, cause theres niggas that I know there." ^Thats real shit. And Anybody saying Drake fronts like hes from the hood is DEAD wrong.

    • RHX

      Real rap record? What do u consider real? Cos drakes music is honest he ain't frontin, doesn't that mean real? 5am in Toronto nothin but bars

    • ^

      You sound hurt, stanley.

    • Anonymous

      You sound so very ignorant.

  • Johnny Blayze

    Songwriting skills, Drake is second to none in the game. He has flow, has lyrics, deals with subject matters most rappers have rarely went into. He's new and fresh. Has a whole catalog of bangers. Then flip and make tracks that are completely the opposite and touch subject matters in a way that hasn't been done. He smashes hooks and features. Consistently getting better for years while most rappers peak with their first or second album. Legend in the making. Like Kweli said, just needs to be consistent through out his career, he'll join the greats. T Dot O!

    • Anonymous

      Too bad you don't have the balls to do shit, Drake stan.

    • MIC

      You know, If I wanted my own comeback, I would've wiped it off your bitches chin.

    • ^

      Nope. YOU'RE the stan here, defending Drake and another Drake stan. All you're doing is spending your time dickriding someone who wouldn't acknowledge your pathetic existence if you paid him, which you probably have no cash to do.

    • MIC

      Funny how I didnt say shit about Drake on my comment. Bahahaha youre more of a fucking drake stan than I am and all you do is spend youre time hating on someone who wouldnt acknowledge your pathetic existence if you paid him, which you prolly have no cash to do.

    • ^

      Looks like another Drake stan.

    • MIC

      Actually, everything they say is an OPINION. Which means you cant debunk it as a lie or false. Learn the difference between FACTS and OPINIONS, simpleton.

    • Anonymous

      How does Drake's dick taste? Everything you say is all a lie.

  • Ha990

    My laugh of the day. Thanks Talib

  • 666

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq3QmtV8vT0

  • rabbit mask doctor 666

    hello ashanti where is left eye

  • xxxxx

    why u hate lil kids ashanti awww babby ohhh babby. or is it ohhhhh on left eye

  • Anonymous

    Talib kissing ass. Drake is ass.... So sad

  • xxxxx

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_whsfiZvRA

  • xxxxx

    beyonce needs a some bug a boos. t pain

  • xxxxx

    ashanti hates happy young girls 'he he im so happyy babbyy la la

  • xxxxx

    ja rule try to make ppl holla for dolla muder

  • xxxxx

    50 hates young girls 'go shorty' its your birthday" go go meaning die

  • xxxxx

    perv ghoti wer u at u fat homo

  • xxxxx

    why u pour beer on that chick dr dre

  • xxxxx

    seems eminem hates yellow bones

  • xxxxx

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leUSMep-8Ms

  • heres sum spics to kill

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-VJE0AVvZ4

  • heres sum spics to kill

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PbboduZPFk

  • heres sum spics to kill

    ice cube shot somebody

  • heres sum spics to kill

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnynCZXqlI8

  • sxxx4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epP7i7unWdU

  • poppa large

    seriously talib? ha ha ha ha. drake raps about nothing. maybe some emotional relationship stuff, liqour, ovo. A) His multi's are basic to non existant B) his voice is a 5/10 c) his flow is basic d) content is a 6/10 (hes not saying anything that creative or controversial or conscious. e) his vocab and creativity are minimal plus he is helping feminize rap. talib misled on this one.

  • sxxx4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yt849wJyVk

  • 000000

    bam margera keep moving place to place. MOVE BITCH GET OUT WAYYY

  • 000000

    they need drake a hocky player sh sh ha ha

  • 000000

    bam margera digging holes jay z dig a hole

  • 000000

    game 1 blood his friend dmx album cover.stop being greddy video. game going behind his friend 50 cents house

  • 000000

    snoop dog hates girls. braids and girl hair styles

  • 000000

    some wack' ppl on american idol. 'wack" kill

  • Anonymous

    But Tupac and Biggie and Jay Z don't sing on their records. Singing was not important for them most of the time to make hit records.

    • @SmeezeF

      I agree, I don't understand why these artist who give Drake props never mention the fact that his a R&B singer as well. I don't think he would be as big an artist without the R&B part of his game. Oh well, to each his own. Eat young man eat!

    • Anonymous

      Without singing Drake would only get half the attention he now gets

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