Talib Kweli and his Blacksmith Music crew had a lot on tap when 2008 started off. However, rather than a multitude of expected projects to be released this year, followers of the Brooklyn-based record label were only treated to the sounds of Jean Grae’s Jeanius album [click to read]. Although receiving positive reviews, Jeanius never caught enough Billboard buzz, and speculation began to brew over the status of Blacksmith’s other acts and whether or not their music would find the shelf of a music store.
Rather than allow recently surfaced rumors to convey misleading information of Blacksmith Music being dropped, Kweli maintains the decision was conceptually a split. “My label Blacksmith is no longer distributed by Warner Brothers, which means they will not put out Blacksmith future projects,” Kweli explained in a statement. “I still have a deal to put out Talib Kweli and Reflection Eternal thru [sic] Blacksmith/WBR.” This would include his fourth solo album, tentatively titled Prisoner of Consciousness, and the much-anticipated second collaboration with beatsmith and close friend Hi-Tek in Train of Thought II.
Blacksmith Music, created in 2006 by Kweli and partner Corey Smith, boasts a tightly-knit crew of versatile artists, including Strong Arm Steady, Jean Grae, and Toronto-songstress Anjulie. Krondon, Mitchy Slick, and Phil The Agony, who make up SAS, will once again see their Blacksmith debut Arms & Hammers be delayed as a result of the distribution split.
Warner Brothers Records has yet to comment on the current situation involving Kweli’s Blacksmith imprint.