Talib Kweli: "Eminem Introduced My Daughter To Lyrics"

Exclusive: Talib Kweli: "It was amazing to me to watch my daughter discover Eminem, and be into his lyrics."

A few years ago, Talib Kweli says he took his daughter, who is now 14, to the BET Awards. The award show left an impression on his daughter, who told him that one emcee stood out to her from the various performers that evening. 

"Eminem introduced my daughter to lyrics," Kweli says of that day in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "When he performed ['Not Afraid'], she was like, 'Who is that, daddy?' I think she was like 10 or 11. I was like, 'That's Eminem.' She was like, 'That's one of the best rappers I've ever heard.' And she's been on some lyrical shit ever since then.

"It was amazing to me to watch my daughter discover Eminem, and be into his lyrics," Kweli continues. "She immediately noticed a difference 'cause Eminem had kind of been missing from the scene for a couple years before then. She immediately noticed he can rap better than everybody. She was like, 'He was the best rapper on the floor tonight.' And I'm like, 'Wow. Okay. She recognizes it, too.'" 

Talib Kweli On Eminem's Work With Rawkus Records & His "Shocking" Lyrics

While his daughter may have become an Eminem fan that evening, Kweli says he knew about Eminem's success long before then, dating back to the late 1990s when Em was making a name for himself in the industry.

"Eminem was in the Rawkus [Records] office," Kweli says. "He was doing songs for Young Zee and the Outsidaz and them. He was jumping on beats. He was a hungry emcee...I've watched the legend of Eminem from the beginning. I used to walk around with a Slim Shady cassette in Detroit. I was shocked. Eminem was shocking to me. I was like, 'How is this White boy this nasty and this fuckin' rude at the same time?'" 

Since then, Kweli says he's continued to watch Eminem's rise in the industry with several albums, including ones that have been criticized by some.

"Eminem has been kind of ubiquitous for a long time," Kweli says. "Even the albums that people claim they don't like, you still hear those songs everywhere. Like you'll still hear 'Love The Way You Lie' on the radio now. And people say they don't even like that album [2010's Recovery]." 

Eminem celebrated a decade and a half on a major label recently as his debut album, The Slim Shady LP, had its 15-year anniversary Sunday (February 23). 

RELATED: Talib Kweli Says Hate For Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Is Misguided

82 Comments

  • None Of Ya ! Nicka

    All of ya'll low down duty bastarrrds need to stop the non sense. Stop being racist and take into account that the girl respects and got her influence from Em. Take into consideration that many other african american people have quoted eminem and repect him as well. Although he is Caucasian that doesnt mean anything. He's sold ove 16 million songs. You ? Nada. So I suggest you get facts before you go there. -It Was A Flower Beyotchhh

  • Anonymous

    its what the kids choose to take from it. Instead of taking the profanity from the song, i took the message and applied it to my life.

  • Anonymous

    the message of his music made me like him. it was not inappropriate at all to be into one of the greatest rap legends of y'all time when i was 10. Id rather be into explicit REAL music, than safe FAKE music.

  • nunya bizniss

    To the tards who are trying to hate on Kweli for giving credit where it is due you are racist idiots and probably don't have the slightest clue about lyricism, the rap game or respect. and he is a bad father? for what? taking his daughter to the BET awards? was he supposed to cover her ears while whitey was on the stage? and if you dummies would open your racist eyes you might notice that racial segregation has been eliminated. its a class war now and even rich African Americans wouldn't piss on your poor asses if you were on fire. White people don't come together collectively and create laws to oppress minorities. The elite come together and create laws to oppress the poor. one day you may realize that the only chance we as the human race have is to put aside our differences and come together in unity. you people(no not as in "blacks") are just as bad as conspiracy theorists, you promote hate and insecurity and prevent your shitty country from prospering and reaching the socially conscious level of almost every other nation in the developed world. keep crying about shit that whitey did to your people years ago(b.t.w. white isn't a race and white people oppressed each other long before any European stepped foot on this continent)and while your at it maybe give the natives back their land. also, basketball was invented by a WHITE CANADIAN. so does that take away from Michael Jordan's skill, dominance or legacy? no it doesn't so grow up already. Your not part of the solution so your part of the problem. peace you backwards ass racist turds.

  • Anonymous

    Eminem appeals to 10 year old girls, in other news water is wet.

  • Anonymous

    I think i'm going to start my own hip hop site that doesn't have a comment section, it will just be the news about music and new tracks and videos because the hate spewed from some peoples lips regarding race and sexual preference is disgusting, black and white alike all of you should get a grip who cares about color in this day and age? don't we all have bigger problems nowadays?

    • Ankan

      Good Idea! Its really so disgusting with all this hateful meaningless comments.. and they are in every site.. I would prefer your comment free site.

  • Anonymous

    Well seen this site is moderated by black people

  • Anonymous

    Rick Ross introduced my daughter to date rap and diabetes

  • PATHH88

    When Tiger Woods reached the pinnacle of golfs elite, every golfer i knew, all white, were in awe of him and supported him and thought it was great for the sport... When Em became the Rap God he truly is, all i see is racist comments from BLACK people who cannot stand the fact that Em is the best thing to happen to rap pretty much ever... Can we conduct a poll ? Who, in general, are the most racist colour of people ? Black or White ?? You never hear white rappers/fans talking about "black rappers" but damn sure you hear black rappers talking bout Em got skills "for a white boy" or black fans saying "yada yada yada not as good cos he is white"...maybe a lot of trolls but that is what is clearly visible...

    • PATHH88

      Brian i was more interested in the masses, not the individuals, the fans as opposed to the players...seems to me Em does not get his props due to the fact he is white (judging by the comments i read on this site) and it always SEEMS to me that Black people are always the first ones to talk about colour and play that card. And rap has not gotten worse since Em, it started declining when Puff wanted to become a star in the early to mid 90's, nothing to do with Em...I didnt see Puff make a film based on battling and taking the (more) real culture to the world as opposed to bling, clothes and living a "player" life. And wrong path, it is not the white masses that create laws BUT look at africa passing laws to OUTLAW homosexuality- you replace homosexuality with any other minority (eg being Black) and you would see how messed up that law is, targeting a minority because of who they are and jailing them, shit stinks for real...

    • Wrong path

      Whites would win the poll. I don't think theres any laws created by blacks that disenfranchise whites directly.

    • brian

      You must need a class in what racisim is. also isn't talib giving em mad props right now? Add that to the fact rap has gotten worse not better since em and all your arguments are pretty much done. Personally i like em but i also like jay nas ttupac take your pick. when tiger was on top nobody else was in his stratosphere. Oh and when tiger was on top th racist playrs were offering to serve fried chicken at his event.

  • Anonymous

    Its like every write up Talib Kweli is like what the fuck are you talkin about you saying anything please STFU sick of seeing his write ups kissin up to other rappers ..again SHUT THE FUCK UP!

  • Anonymous

    Shame, Eminem's one of the best rappers. Stay mad, he doesn't give a fuck.

  • 3headedmonstah

    real recognize real! Em to me might be the best lyrical M'C since the old old days! KRS1 ,RaKM, Kool Mo Dee, that era! the white mothafuka can str8 out spiTTT!

  • Anonymous

    Corny Talib's bitch seed is a wigger, poetic justice for a no-talent fuck

    • Anonymous

      that comment showcases your ignorance and racism. Kweli is a highly revered legend. he praises talented emcees because thats what emceeing is about. earning the the respect of your peers and showing respect where it is due. what are you 13 or something? but if giving marshal credit warrants your hate then i guess you hate rakim, redman, pharoahe monch, etc. in fact name a respected emcee and i can almost guarantee you will find them giving him respect in an interview. the only emcees that don't give him credit are the ones with no hype or that have fell the fuck off and they mention his name to try and gain national attention. so you enjoy your benzino, icp, and ja rule albums and the rest of us will listen to good emcees.

    • BX Lo Life

      Pop that bullshit to Talib's face you anonymous bitch.

  • haha

    dumb fucks...yet ANOTHER (and black) legend praising em and calling him one of if not the greatest

  • House Negros Always Tripping

    "It was amazing to watch my daughter discover Eminem, and be into a racist cac rapping about incest and misogyny."

  • Seedub

    WTF?! whats up with all the ignorant ass comments? half these cats dissin Em probably listen to fuckin Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and 2 chainz. Kweli is too dope...do some research and listen to the man's albums. THEN you will see where he's coming from in saying Em one of the greatest. Ignorant ass fucks...racist too? sons of bitches probably still in the hood blaming whitey for all their problems when really they're just stupid lazy fucks that lack motivation to better themselves. being racist was last century shit. grow the fuck up!

  • RHX

    Look at all this pointless hate for this. U embarrass yourselfs. All the ignorant, back dated jealous fools show up and break out in a online race war whenever a white artist is given press on here. Smh

  • Anonymous

    im convinced now that kweli got paid off a while back tokeep wack shit on a good word if he went back 15,16yrs he would turn inside out hearing and seeing the shit he does he stop riding the fence and jumped all the way on the other side damn

  • Anonymus

    Why do you grown crack babies and suburban test tube babies put all lyricists in one box? You can't listen to Em expecting what you hear in Taleb Kweli or vice versa, at 10 you might find yourself more impressed by the technique than the words and they just happen to be funny because no one expects em to act up his lyrics so people with sense get it and just enjoy how the words came together. It's fun rap but skillfully.

  • Anonymous

    yea, let your daughter listen to that and be proud about it. numbskull

  • Doubl Negative

    I've lost all respect I ever had for this asshole. I expect comments like this from bastards like Macklemore, not my own people. Fuck him.

    • Anon

      @Double Negative, what you must not recognize is that Em has done a lot for hip hop. Hip Hop/rap isn't just for black people and latinos. It's multicultural and multiracial. Hip Hop follows the footsteps of blues, jazz and rocknroll. Hip Hop is derived from both blacks and whites. The thing is, Em's skin color is one of the many reasons why he is so big. so is his lyrical ability. Songs like "Stan", "The Way I Am","Lose Yourself" and etc.. are cultural milestones. For example, "Stan" is probably one of the most important songs Eminem has created in his career. In fact, that song established not only the term for obsessive fans, but it also told a great story from a different point of view while explaining what he is as an artist.

    • Anonymous

      There is no "us". The only "us" in this conversation should be Hip Hop, man. Never forget the roots of this movement. It came from oppression. We shouldn't be actin like racist dumb fucks. Get yourselves together.

    • ETK

      ^^ Man, Em sure is one of the GOAT's, but damn don't be so blatant with it, talking about "a white guy is running y'all ni663ers", "black people will always be behind", "a white guy is dominating black people" WTF??? How you gon say some biased shit like that when the main reason why you have your oh so precious Eminem is because of us?!?!

    • Anonymous

      I smell a negro is mad because one of the legendary rappers is getting props. I bet you never even listened or read any lyrics from Eminem. You must be too frustrated a white guy is so talented and dominating so many black people at there own game.

    • Anonymous

      "Not my own people". Racist retard. After you wonder why black people will always be behind. You all cry because you supposedly don't get fair treatment, but it's idiots like you that set races apart. You're too blinded by skin color that you can't admit a white rapper is skilled. Idiots like you hold back your race from making any progress. Worthless scrub.

    • Anonymus

      He goes back with Em before he was on, what do you expect him to say?

  • Anonymous

    The Black race worships a white Jesus and prays to a white God and even their own Black children recognize that Em is a Rap god and Kweli's own daughter recognizes who is superior.

    • Anonymous

      come on dude don't say words like superior. you come off as bad as the rest of these racist turds. they are blinded by they're own jealousy and insecurity and you appear to have a supremest attitude. you gotta dead that shit. it's 2014 the only place for attitudes like that is prison. do you think eminem appreciates you coming to his defenses with a nazi ss attitude? i can assure you he wouldn't agree with you. He is amazingly talented and due to his success, skill, and color he is going to have haters. but actual emcees give him his credit and these racist haters will never hurt his legacy, but you aint gotta fire back with the very rhetoric that fuels these guys views on society.

    • fuck nation of islam

      fuck yourself u fuckin black supremacist go suck the nuts of elijah muhammad racist cunt

    • Anonymous

      The black race told you this huh? I have more intelligent sounding farts than you.

  • Anonymous

    Em introduced me to lyrics and good hip hop too. Ironically, through some of his weaker material (like the Recovery singles). Wonder what cypher he's talking about though, the shady 2.0 one Em was the best but the other one Em was in Black Thought bodied it.

    • Anonymous

      No the cypher is from 2009 and the album the verse is on is from 2010 so it wasn't recycled. Thought's verse was just better, Em's was nice too, not sure what Mos Def was doing there though he was trying to sound all intelligent instead of dropping ill punchlines.

    • Anonymous

      keep telling urself that...Black Thought had one recycled verse that didnt move shit in that cypher...lyric by lyric Em slaughtered him

  • Eminem Sez

    Talk shyt about me...Eat 2 dicks

  • I AM WHITE

    NlGGERS ARE JEALOUS OF EMINEM. LOL

  • R.Pgh

    Why does anyone give a fuck what another man's daughter listens to? He said she got into him when she was 10. There aren't any 10 year olds that can understand the lyrical message in Kweli song. Fucking dummies.

  • Anonymous

    Pathetic. So-called 'proud' black man licking whitey ass, still. How about teaching the bitch some Rakim, maybe minus the 5% silliness? No wonder nobody checks for this cornball and he's STILL flogging oldies with Mos Def. Get a real job, Talib, you're not built for show business fool.

    • Anonymous

      Talib Kewli (Coolie) is more like it, off-beat dogshit not fit to squish under Gil Scott-Heron's shoe

    • Talib Kweli

      The both of you no-name motherfuckers can go fuck yourselves. What the fuck do you care how I raise my daughter? Damn, you bums know absolutely nothing. She want to listen to Eminem? Fine. I'm showing her that there are a wide list of lyricists OTHER THAN ME. I'm done trying to educate you ignorant fucks. I feel like I'm about to pop a vein in my forehead.

    • Anonymous

      Aint nothing silly about the 5% but Kweli is a bitch, how you supposed to call yourself conscious and then say a matricidal, homicidal, misogynistic, clown like Feminem introduced your daughter to lyrics? Sad shit, no wonder Mos Def kicked this clown to the curb.

    • Talib Kewli

      And you're nothing but a bitch ass anonymous nigga who ain't worth the crsut in my ass. Pay homage when you're addressing a fucking veteran, bitch. You probably softer that Charmin toilet paper.

  • Anonymous

    "I was like, 'How is this White boy this nasty and this fuckin' rude at the same time?'"" 1st time I heard Em I thought the nigga was black. After I found out he was white I had a similar reaction to Talib Kweli. I was like: What the fuck? How the fuck is it possible for this whiteboy rap better than 99% of these rap niggas?

  • Anonymous

    Then you failed a dad. You got lyrics too, why couldn't you introduce her to that? Instead you let some whiny ass white boy penetrate you child's mind. I never respected this dude or his work. He actually sucks to me.

    • Anonymous

      Whether or not he means it, its still inappropriate for a 10 - 15 year old.

    • Anonymous

      You people talking about Em's "sick perverted lyrics" do realize he's not being serious when he says them right....? Like the whole Slim Shady thing is meant to be a joke....

    • Talib Kweli

      All of you can go rot in hell. Stick to being mindless, lowly minimun wage drones. Until you've raised a child and gotten off that Peter Pan complex bullshit, sip a hot glass of shut the fuck up.

    • Anonymous

      I never said he was "lyrical" as in has good lyrics. He needs lyrics to make his shitty songs too.

    • Fuck Outta Here

      contradictory ass clown. How you going to recognize Kweli for being lyrical then bitch and moan that his music sucks. Eat a dick.

    • Me

      You mfkrs are ruthless with the tongue, I can't front though, I was wondering why would she pick up on Em and not her fathers lyrics.. Idk about this one Talib and I'm a fan of yours..

    • Thatereping82

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    • Thatereping82

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    • Anonymous

      Shows you just how garbage Kweli is when another rapper has to teach his daughter about lyrics, I hope his daughter memorized all of Eminems sick perverted lyrics and becomes a prostitute for white males.

  • Anonymous

    Good for people to recogniZe that the white guy has to introduce Lyrics to the ni663rs daughter despite him being a rapper himself. Just shows the inferiority of the ni99er race.

    • Anonymous

      rap never had a color. my whole way of music is influenced by my father, but eminem is also one of my favorites. don't be small minded

  • Anonymous

    Stans and the Mathews will collide in the comment section of this page.

  • Anonymous

    real recognize real.

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