Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek)  - Revolutions Per Minute

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It's not everyday that a pair of talented musicians vow to return together to make lightening strike twice...and actually mean it.

Hip Hop lost one of its greats last month in Keith "Guru" Elam. Long before Guru passed, Hip Hop lost one of its greatest groups, Gang Starr. Gang Starr was a duo that abided by the traditional formula of the emcee and the deejay/producer, side-by-side creating music. Ten years ago, Reflection Eternal [Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek] became that middle management collaboration of emcee & deejay that stood in the hopes of furthering that same Gang Starr formula that originated 30-plus years ago. Ultimately, both groups came to a screeching halt – Gang Starr due to politics and emotions, Reflection Eternal due to the desire for solo projects. Truth be told, Hi-Tek and Kweli weren’t even a group per se, but with their arguably flawless 2000 debut Train of Thought, the hope of making them one was eminent. Now, close to a decade later, Kweli and Hi-Tek return with Revolutions Per Minute, a now major label work that displays the evolution of both the emcee and the deejay and the desire to once again keep them together.


In a certain respect, Revolutions Per Minute is a concept album, paying homage to the almighty RPM of vinyl plus the double meaning of the Earth spinning on its axis. RPM is laced with social commentary that has now become a signature trait for Kweli, not unlike rappers like Boots Riley (The Coup) and Black Thought (The Roots) who can make messages in the midst of entertainment. Late last year, R.E. dropped their mixtape titled The RE:Union. Mixed by Statik Selektah, The RE:Union hosted several tracks now found on Revolutions Per Minute, including the soulful “Just Begun” with Jay Electronica, Mos Def and J. Cole, and the dark “In This World” . "Just Begun" is a posse cut not unlike the Rah Digga and Xzibit assisted "Down For the Count" on Train of Thought, only less braggadocious and more skillful. The winner in this cypher is Jay Electronica, whose spine-tingling potential for fame bleeds through his lines like "I just wanna go to the slum and throw my money on the floor like the notorious bum / Build a home, teach a class, start a revolution / Free the mind, heal the body, talkin' evolution." Kweli also collaborated with fellow Idle Warship cohort Res on “Back Again”, featured on both RE:Union and RPM (Res was also part of Train of Thought on the epic “Too Late”).

Outside of what the mixtape offered first, RPM contains its fair share of jewels. “Strangers (Paranoid)” lags in the beginning despite the infectious horns, but Kweli gains momentum in just enough time for Bun B to cleanup the track. Other songs like “Midnight Hour” (with Estelle) and “Get Loose” (with Chester French) offer Kweli’s obvious growth in melding genres with his lyrics (probably due in part to Idle Warship). The rest like “Ballad Of the Black Gold” and “Long Hot Summer” (reworked sample for Jay-Z’s “Dear Summer”) are reminiscent of Train of Thought in their hard-hitting simplicity. Just as he did a decade ago on "The Blast," Hi-Tek checks in to drop a verse on “So Good”. The chemistry between Hi-Tek and Kweli is undeniable. Perhaps it’s because they don’t work confined to a formal group or maybe they’re just that good. Either way, Revolutions Per Minute is exciting even up to the mellowed Outro “My Life”, where Kweli still spits with meaning "Fans tellin' me I'm underappreciated, underrated and hated, but he's thankful they debate it / Thankful that he made it, the glory was somethin' fated / Thankful that he keep it so real when some fake it / Thankful for the skills' that's keepin' the family stable / Thankful for the meals he put on the family table."

It’s not everyday that a pair of talented musicians vow to return together to make lightening strike twice…and actually mean it. With Reflection Eternal back in the fold with Revolutions Per Minute, waiting another 10 years for their next album will seem impossible.

197 Comments

  • KI

    What I will say is that this album isn't Train of Thought - THAT album was in my CD player for at least a month straight. THIS album, however, is still a great listen. Most of the tracks on it go hard, with the exception of "Midnight Hour" simply because I'm not that much of an Estelle fan. My personal faves on the album are "Strangers (Paranoid), Just Begun (BANGIN' cypher track), and Get Loose. That's just my .02, though. It's definitely worth a look-see.

  • RandomFollowa

    Another great album out this year.

  • Drake Dilla

    Not a hater, but I take it back, I give it a 3.5 or 4 on production, on depth and lyrics maybe a 2.5, 3 out of 5....RE Train Of Thought, 4, 4.5 out of 5.......They definately could of done better....Like I said, sounds like Eardrum pt.2, and they almost sound the same, tho this one was a bit shorter which is good, but they dont push the envelope on here, and there aint alot of depth...or replay value....sorry if im upsetting the XXL, SOURCE mag hip hop crowd with a critical rating....I just know they can do better...It just sounds like Kweli, and for the sake of it, hey lets throw RE on here....kinda like an excuse to make a Reflection Eternal album, it is no longer sacred....revolutions per minute, catchy but Im not buying your defination on that take....especially on one of the skits that mentions Rhianna? wtf? lol...Anyway, Kweli raped it....For those that stay up on URB, I would give this a 3, 3.5 out of 10...Its more like a Soul Survivor 2 album....It trys to cater to both, tho it aims more toward a commercial crowd, with that lil jay z scratch "lyrically Iam like talib kweli" ah cmon, are u serious?? sounds like a lil ego to me....cmon kwe, do u really setting ur self on jay's level??? Jays not even a emcee, he's more like a mogul or entertainer...what happened to sportin the back pack, the pad and pen? lol. Not that im hating on Kweli, tho i know he's more business man now, I just dont like his flow or lyrics since Black Star or Train Of Thought....its not inspiring or deep...Anyway ignorance is bliss and if it bumps it bumps....

  • Drake Dilla

    It aint Train Of Thought....And using the Reflection Eternal group name, seems like just an excuse to make it a Kweli And Hi Tek Album....But Im not bashing it...But I hope thats not what we'll expect on another Black Star album, and that being said, It probably will happen the way.....But back to this album.....Its more like Eardrum pt.2.....but in ways in surpasses it...It shoulda just been another Kweli album, where R.E. Train Of Thought was a more serious, focused album, this album is dope, but has its own vibe...It doesnt take itself too serious...There are probably two tracks where kweli is breakin new ground talking about conscious shit, the rest of the album is more feel good if anything....And I aint a hater, but Kweli is a bit overrated, he is a cool emcee...but if anyone wants to say he's conscious, then refer to Black Star, R.E. Train Of Thought, or Lyricist Lounge's Manifesto...But other than that, he's okay...But enough of that...What we have here is a good album...Im feelin it...Where Eardrum had a powerhouse selection of producers ranging from Pete Rock, to Kanye, To Madlib, And Hi Tek, this one has Tek taking over beat conducting duties....He does a good job at that....There aint no Move Somthing's or The Blast to find on this album tho...But its all good...theres still very cool, chill tracks on here...From what I can say, is I think these are Tekzillas best beats since Teknology 2, or Train Of Thought.....But prob up to par with Teknology 2....But they all blend into the album and effectively, I think Tek definately knows the chemistry when him and Kwe are doing a album...Anyway dope album, it should be called Invincible Summer or Long Hot Summer, cause it does have a summer kind of vibe to it...But Im definately feelin it, and bumpin it...Anyway I hope the next R.E. album takes it back to being like Train Of Thought, the same for Black Star....But this album is definately worth picking up and listening too....

  • jmuzik

    THIS ALBUM GO SO HARD... BUY IT!

  • D.T.

    this one isn't up to the first album's level...and really....that's okay - it's still dope. But I dunno, felt a little.....rushed, like Talib wasn't all the way into it.

  • savage88

    the first album was a hip hop classic , this second album is not on that level though it has its own feel and vibe .

  • 305ilovemia

    I Love M I A MUsic and Ent. Presents $WonDough$ No Image No Gimmicks Just Banging Ass music youtube.com/user/305ilovemia Raw and Uncut

  • Jake Polumbo

    It's what I expected. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Paradox412

    I've listened to this CD about 7 times and I've finally reached a conclusion... it's cool. It's not great like I was hoping. It was cool. It kind of reminded me of The Adventures of Bobby Ray cd; not content wise but it starts off like a classic album then slows down and picks up a little at the end. A few things: The turning point in the CD is Midnight Hour. I fuckin' hated that song. I listened to it a few more times and it's not a horrible song it just doesn't fit in with the album AT ALL. It works better as a stand alone or bonus track. I don't know what they were thinking putting a high tempo song like that between two of the more laid back joints "Got Work" and "Lifting Off." Not a typical Kweli joint but it has that "Hot Thing" vibe Not a fan of "Get Loose." Well, I'm not a fan of any song with 'loose' in the title "Back Again" is probably one of the hottest cuts on the album that people will probably over look. The third verse is CRAZY Not a fan of all of the beats but Kweli GOES IN on almost every track. Lyrically I wasn't disappointed trust me you won't either

  • randdddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    a refreshing album!! good to see em back together but theyve been collaborating the whole time!! LIL WAYNE = BITCH NIGGA!!!

  • Mattweezy

    Talib spits over some of the most electrifying and varied beats ever!!!! LOVED it!

  • TH

    Just Begun is a truly great song. City playgrounds and Got work are solid. But overall Hi Tek's beats seem incomplete to me, lacking soul... it's too bad.

    • David Kabongo

      He did on My life (outro) that was soulful as hell talib was ridin dat beat and End ft Bilal was another homerun...c'mon ya'll askin 4 too much...time has change...Jay-z does not rap like he did 10 years ago, dr. dre does produce like he did 10 years ago... Get wit the current times ppl. Just enjoy the music. KWELI IS GREATNESS !!

  • FrostyTheSnowMan

    Dope Album! Content is deep, not for simple minds and skinny jeans. Hi-Tek production is smooth. Love the bassline on, In this World. Some of my favs, City Playgrounds, Got Work, In the Red, Just Begun, Ends, etc, cop the album or don't but Hip Hoppas know whats up. Review it for yourself, don't listen to these clowns that say Kweli is monotone, they're just someone elses groupies, Guru RIP, was monotone, Rakim is mono, Talib Kweli is one of the GOATS.

  • dtfrink

    I just brougth the ablum and it is fire as expected by Talib Kweli+Hi-Tek...they're two of not many artist bringing the world real hip-hop...also, nas, jeezy, jay-z, lupe, plies, wayne, enimen, and the roots, etc...

    • Chi Rep

      Plies? Jeezy? How can you mention them in the same sentence as Nas, Jay, and Lupe? They don't even compare.....that's like apples and rotten apples...HA!

  • calico2020

    i have no idea why anybody would hate on this album. . this shit is sooo nice.. especially that cut w/ jay elec.

  • buttaman

    Id give it a 4.75 since I don't like midnight hour or get loose, but the rest is great. Talib's last two albums were great. I think he's just starting to hit his stride. Now lets have a Black Moon reunion.

  • JussNYce

    Yall trippin. Yall lil niggas need to start from Back Again and stop at Midnight Hour. (WTF TALIB WTF) Start again at Ballad of the B&G. Learn sumn.

  • Swamp Thang

    I think most of the fools on here that talk shit are chumps that get punked at school, at work and on the block so they come on here cause this is the only place they can appear "hard." These queers probably wear skinny jeans, rock S-curls and put on make up. F#$CKIN' FAGS!!!

  • King Keef

    I'm sorry, I DISAGREE with THIS RATING..I wont say the album sucks but i dont like it. THE BEATS TO ME ARE SOOOOOO WACK every last beat. In this world beat and long hot summer Ok. But i cant listen to this soft mellow jazzy crap for an entire album( can you really BUMP this album on a Friday heading home after work?) and talibs voice after a while just gets on my nerve Talib and guest rappers rarely show any energy on this album. My wife likes him thats the only reason i got the album. i got the distant relatives album too even though its not really hiphop beats on there i dont get tired of hearing nas or Jr gong. I rather keep listening to The Champ is here pt 3 hahaaaa!

    • Sodagod

      Let it Bump they love it in the Red REFLECTION ETERNAL that other shit is Dead!!! i just drove home from work on friday night bumping the whole album... have been all week. Best album to be released in the last 10 years.

  • Bizarre

    FUCK DIS BULLSHIT! WHY HIPHOPDX AIN'T REVIEW THAT NEW BIZARRE RECORD?!?!?!?!?! THESE WACK ASS MCS GOT NOTHIN' ON BIZARRE! BEST RAPPER ALIVE!!!!!!!

  • sun_god7

    Really good album - probably should of limited the album to less tracks, though. Even Jay and Weezy don't put out complete albums neither.

  • David KABONGO

    LEGENDARY CLASSIC IN MY BOOK!!! I GET CHIILLS WHEN I LISTEN TO DA ALBUM. THANK YOU SOO MUCH FOR REUNITING AND DELIVERING DAT REAL SHIT. BOTH WAS ON POINTWIT LYRICS/PRODUCTIONS. ITS A NEW DAY STOP TRYN A COMPARE THIS TO TRAIN OF THOUGHT...MUSIC BACK THEN IS NOT AND WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AS TODAY BUT THIS IS AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN GET TO IT. JUST LAY BACK AND ENJOY FUCK ALL DAT NEG SHIT. 5 STAR CLASSIC. DEFINATELY COPPIN A HARD COPY AT BEST BUY AND GOIN THEIR SHOW HERE IN B-MORE ON JUNE 9. YALL GIVE ME MOTIVATION MAN FO REAL KEEP DOIN IT.!!! ITS ALL LOVE. 1

  • MRD

    Pretty good album. I can admit that it's starting to grow on me a little bit. There are a few songs that they could have left off like the song with estelle. It's nowhere near the level that Train of Thought was on. It's still better than 98% of the shit that's out now. Best albums of 2010 so far: 1.Marcberg/Distant Relatives - Tie 3.Revolutions Per Minute

  • lankaistai

    dope album, real rap, talib kweli ,in my opinion is one of the G.O.A.T.s ,he is a complete emcee........Hi Tek is a bad mother-shut your mouth, on the production boards.Legendary shit right here

  • lankaistai

    dope album, real rap, talib kweli ,in my opinion is one of the G.O.A.T.s ,he is a complete emcee........Hi Tek is a bad mother-shut your mouth, on the production boards.Legendary shit right here

  • Its Um

    Not classic as the first but the production on here is great. They don't mention Russell Simmons on none of the tracks, the ok tracks is; Get loose and So good. The rest is pretty much bangin', over time you will grown to love them all. This album and Distant Relative are the best 2 album that have producer and artist working together through out each track that you can buy right now.

    • King Keef

      why its gotto grow on me over time>> why cant it be dope from the first listen?? shit is wack man

  • The Ruler Starks

    Is nobody else shocked by the production on 'Got Work' by Hi-Tek

    • JussNYce

      OMFG. As Im reading thru comments top to bottom i was sayin "Where the fuck is the Got Work discussion at??" That beat and In This World might be the dopest tracks ive heard from Talib in a good minute. I play this album everyday. My audio bible. Real hip hop

    • Foxamillion

      agreed. Probably the most, up to par, track on the album. The others are excellent but still a notch below what i expected...namely Midnight Hour.

  • gdiggedy

    Hi-Tek's production is a bit of a let down on this. I was expecting better from him. Kweli came through. Solid album.

  • ASEE

    Dope record. I will be banging it all summer. The problem is that it's got no flow. It doesn't sound like a cohesive effort but rather a bunch of singles. I have grown tired of the new tracks from the Re:Union mixtape that dropped on new years, but I really wish that they included the first track from that tape onto the final album, as it's stronger than a couple of the tracks here. I do like how it's an experimental album. The variety of sounds on here is crazy (sometimes to its detriment) and certainly makes for an interesting first listen. After several listens a few tracks become skippable because they fuck up the flow, which again is my main criticism. 5 Fav tracks: City Playgrounds Just Begun My Life Ballad of the Black Gold So Good

  • blackzion

    tight album, it reminds me of commons album BE, it was not the album we normally expected from him but it worked, talib is revolutionizing the game right now, and its going over some of yall heads. I know most of you expecting the same format as train of thought, but if you listen to his lyrics and what he is saying, its actually of the same caliber as his earlier work, this is vintage kweli

  • UNdefined

    Abulm is dope. Copped this and Distant Relatives, and wasn't disappointed in either... I am surprised that no one has mentioned the skits, though - they had me rollin'

  • 212diamondcity

    This album is crazy, talib KILLED IT WOW, Look at this black diamond chain for under $1600, you cant find that ANYWHERE else !!!! http://www.212diamondcity.com/item/diamond-chain/2889.html Fine men's and woman's diamond jewelry at affordable prices http://www.212diamondcity.com

  • AKAKAK

    i can honestly say this is 5 mics, along with the distant relatives joint. hi-tek took his production to another level on this one! stays fresh!!

  • DJ Kadilac

    Wow, reading this review I almost thought I may have been wrong about Talib being just a "ok" emcee, too monotone and predictable for my taste. I can't listen to him for an entire album, I think him and Mos should have stayed together because they compliment each other perfectly. Listening to the tracks listed above, I realized I was right, although a little above average. Just Begun: Solid effort from all but J Cole, who seemed to have listened to too much Kanye. He seems "on these new school rappers/I'll go Columbine. Hold up, dude how many albums do you have? These cats get a Jay-Z feature and lose there mind! Strangers (Paranoid): Wack. One thing I absolutely hate is when rappers try to emulate a style of another when they do a song together. Why is Kweli rapping like he's from the south (sounding totally forced and uncomfortable) , oh because Bun B (who is a shadow of his former "Riding Dirty" self) is on the song. This is what made Jay and BIG shine because with "Big Pimpin" and " Bone and Biggie" they just did their thing without trying to cater to the othe artist. Midnight Hour: HORRIBLE. THIS is why Hip-Hop is dying! Will-I-Am should have rapped on this crap. Leave this shit to Amy Winehouse and Solange. I couldn't make it thru the whole song. Ballad of Black Gold: This beat is nice. Too nice for a preachy song about oil and government. This is something I would like to hear Common or Black Thought rip. Truthfully I haven't heard the whole album (I only listen to 90's Hip-Hop) so maybe there are better tracks than these, but why would the reviewer spotlight these?

    • King Keef

      CO-SIGN everything KAdilac said... i thought more than half the beats are wack as hell.. and i cant listen to talib that long he sound the same on every song very litle energy. i dont know if i've just gotten used to gun talk street raps or what but this soft stuff doesnt get it for me.. and it aint got to be gun talk all the time i like the distant relatives album it doesnt have hiphop beats on it But i dont get tired of Nas or Jr gong or the subject matter they talking about. if you like this album good for you pull ya skirt up and go paint ya toe nails while you listen to it!!

    • Cide

      I agree with you that J.Cole is one of the "brand new cats" that he's trying to rap about, that being said Kweli, Mos Def, and especially Jay Electronica killed it on that song. There are a lot of us out there that listen primarily to 90's rap, but that doesn't mean that when a good album comes out in 2010 you have to front on it. Nobody's saying that this is Illmatic but what it is is way better than the garbage rap that's getting all the radio play.

    • ASEE

      @ DJ KADILAC: If you haven't heard the whole album you should not be reviewing it. There are no doubt several jams on here that you would feel. I agree that 'Midnight Hour' is a weak jam (although I could imagine a couple situations in which I would vibe to it). Check out 'City Playgrounds' and 'My Life' for a taste of their classic sound. Also--how can you mention 'Just Begun' and NOT mention Kweli and Jay Elec's verses?! J.Cole dropped some ill lines but he's definitely the weakest on the track.

    • BEANTOWN88

      damn my nigga a 2 wow

    • kpanilaryea28

      da fuck outta here mane j cole got one of the coldest verses! fuck you talkin bout?

    • ed_ez

      You are so right about "midnight hour" he tried to gain extra cross over appeal and failed. Also the reviewer did miss at least 3 tracks that were better than the ones she posted but after listening to the whole album today it is surely one of the better hip hop albums of the year so far. also where the hell was Jean Gray?

  • kpanilaryea28

    fuck outta here if you say this is wack!!!!

  • core11285

    Nice ablum!!!! Copped It!!!!!

  • DJJJ

    Soooo GOOD! Support this and buy a physical copy at the store!

  • east_atl_zone6

    I know I might get crucified for giving it 3 stars but I truly feel like Hi Tek could have come better with the production... Kweli did his thing on every trac... From a lyrical stand point 5 stars easy!!! To me the first joint they did was way better... Jus my opinion!

  • ed_ez

    Just copped it sounds like a near classic so far!!!!!!! 4.5 out of 5

  • chronwell

    Did anyone cop this? None at the Target! It knocks. This review is pretty accurate and I dont like DX's reviews in general. Nice sounds from two underground Kangs HAHAHA!

  • gutter man

    SUPER BASIC- CRY BABY RAP

  • gutter man

    GAY ALBUM- ONLY NUT GOBBLERS PLAY THIS P.C. GARBAGE. IF YOU DON'T AGREE YOUR SUPER FAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CORNY ASS ALBUM BY THE DORKY TALIB FRUIT BOSS,

  • gutter man

    GAY ALBUM- ONLY NUT GOBBLERS PLAY THIS P.C. GARBAGE. IF YOU DON'T AGREE YOUR SUPER FAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CORNY ASS ALBUM BY THE DORKY TALIB FRUIT BOSS,

    • King Keef

      co sign.. i dont know about talib being DORKY as you put it. DUde got lyrics and is a top MC but this album is wack and boring, go listen to that cocainism 2 raekwon. damn even that albert anastasia ep from rick ross is better( Beat wise that is)

    • Gman

      did you actually listen to the album? Talib is miles ahead lyrically

  • Nomad Sirrah

    I was listening to some tracks off of Train of Thought not too long ago and that album got me excited about hip-hop and it introduced me to Talib Kweli. I am a fan and my son is a fan also. I am trying to see Reflection Eternal whenthey come to NC in June.

  • fofosho

    talib wins, heres a link if you aint got it http://usershare.net/z7bvlciasp5p buy it to!

  • nastynas4life

    Tomorrow is going to be a good day for Hip-hop! Distant Relatives and Revolutions Per Minute! Damn, this year is going to be a good year for TRUE HIP-HOP!

  • NAME (NOT REQUIRED)

    5 for my respect for Talib. Hi-Tek didn't bring it like he did on his own projects which loses cool points. But does anyone else think that that cover is god-awful?

  • WHOSHOTCAM

    would someone admit that hiphop is healthy and thriving.. if you look at hiphop through a clear lens, you will see that great artistry is in abundance.. i feel blessed to be living at a time that artists are emerging as the guiding force of the greatest form of music, ever. eminem is back, jay-z just dropped a gem.. cudi breathed life into the game, b.o.b.'s album is dope, j.cole is on the way, ghost, rae and meth did an album.. wu tang chamber music was solid, raekwon's album is a street classic.. the best way to combat the enemy is to simply do you better than they do them.. i hope hiphopers go out and support these projects and keep supporting the courage of artists producing genuine sounds and landscapes. Kanye on the way, new eminem album coming.. j.cole album coming, drake album coming, jay-z hits collection coming, game's album coming.. detox (maybe not coming, lmao).. feels so good to be home!

    • tdt

      yea hiphop is lookin good in 2010, id call it a comeback though.

    • Ah Hell

      "game's album coming.. " too bad it keeps on being pushed back. I don't care though honestly. Distant Relatives and RPM tomorrow!

  • realtalk82

    record iz solid,I got no complaints at all! They came real artistic w/ the lyrics and the music.Can't really see how anyone thinks this is bad.....I really hate people who say like love and lisen to hiphop and don't give props w/ these arist do make good records.

  • Nu Drenaline

    this album is really good one of my most anticipated this year along with distant relatives, good ass job, fornever, leftback, red album. it suks that we are going to have to wait another 10 years for the next one.

  • antiguccimane

    album production should have been dirtier and more head nodding....that beibg said this album is more like 3.5 in the real source days

    • sti3

      Are you objecting because he's quoting a Showbiz line? It's called an homage. Jay-Z made a whole career of it.

    • NAME (NOT REQUIRED)

      "you sir." look, you need to listen to the samples of this album. as a whole I'd give it a 3.5 outta 5. Talib actually said "i like my pockets fat not flat." Ugh. I (as well as the informed hip hop world) expected 100 times more from both Hi tek and Talib. Shad is where its at now.

    • What!

      you sir are lame!!!!! go listen to gucci....this cd is going to be as anti-gucci as you can possibly get......

  • spruce.almighty

    So glad I read everyone's comments before I listened. I was disappointed by most of what I read and then I listen for myself. The music was way beyond my expectations. It didn't sound like it was better than train of thought, but I'm not comparing it anyways. I love hi-tek productions simply because I never hear anyone biting his style. He's too original and kweli is always the perfect man to ryhme on them. I will go out and buy this just like everything else that has tek's name on it.

    • kush nap

      thats whats up homie. album is incredible. outro is fuckin crazy. cats sayin this album too long, yall fuckin crazy. train of thought was like 20 tracks, jam packed. yall actually crying about gettin MORE music. reactionary criticism is always gonna exist when you can download an album with a cpl of mouse clicks. ima take my time with this. been playin the fuck out of it. every track is dope.

  • The.Watcher

    This album is a straight 4 purely for the lyrics, and another one gets added on for the production. Not as good as ToT, but still damn good.

    • NAME (NOT REQUIRED)

      not even in the same ballpark as train of thought unfortunately. DAMN. I was hoping for a groundbreaking classic after all the time we waited.

  • KINGAMUN.Re`

    This is rite on time I need sum hot chit 2rock 4da summer.

  • Shadowapocalypse

    This is almost the perfect album. What more can you ask for? It has 1) A Message, 2) Ill production through the entire album, 3) Diversity in the production and feeling of the songs, 4) Ill Collaborations, 5) Perfect album length, 6) Kweli's flow through the entire album is near perfect. I mean, you can't ask for anything more than this. In my opinion, this album is better than the original, almost by miles and that's saying a lot because I like the first one a lot. Anything less than 4 x's on this? You might need to check your ears, bottom line.....

  • NotDaAvgHipHopPHan

    damn!.... i respect "experimenting" & wanting to do/try different things, but DAMN, kweli is soooo much better w/ hi-tek!!! the 4-5 RPM joints i've heard so far are way better than just about all of kweli's solo stuff. and of course the status od 'train of thought' goes w/o saying. its like the WU cats w/o rza production.... they just aint the same, & always leaves u wanting more or wondering what could've been. ....RPM is lookin' like a worth-the-10 yr-wait album. isnt it lovely?!... those RARE times when we get an album we enjoy like new for a year+, then becomes a classic!

  • syl

    These two guys knew very well the legecy they had established with Train of Thought, and I'm guessing they knew the album they just put out didn't even come close to meeting peoples' expectations. It's tough to follow up when you have a perfect album. Maybe Kweli and Hi-Tek should have just realized they're not the same people anymore and just not even tried.

    • MYLIE

      nah... the album is a great effort. obviously it could never touch the last album. but theres some great gems here. ''My Life'' ''Lifting Up'', ''Balled of the Black Gold'' just a few. but alot of people enjoy this album for what it is. imma buy this.

    • Hrmm

      That's so fucking nihilistic. There's plenty of people HERE alone that disagree with you. "not even tried" = more Gucci Mane.

  • Rachael5922

    okay i was confused by that video, i felt like you wanted people to go do drugs....and sell drugs....i like the song Ballad to the black gold better then this....your saying you have comparable powers to jesus christ then you want us to buy crack? do i have that message correct? i mean that makes no sense make jesus a crack haed?

  • LamarMaticc

    As always with Talib Kweli albums it's a nice listen, all songs blend into one sound, there are some stand out tracks and overall it's a solid album. BTW, we - users - should be able to give ratings with commas too, like 4,5 or 3,5. Coz I almost always have to give 4s. It's like 5/5 is only for classics (there should be 10-20 in hip-hop that deserve it), 4/5 is already just a good album and 3 is pretty average. But there are albums that you can't give a 5 and a 4. So there needs to be a 4,5.

  • JayRock99

    I'm not feeling ANY of the tracks put up in the article. I don't know what makes this a 4*. I haven't heard the whole album, but shouldn't a hot album have a banging beat or two at least, that moves the crowd. Why do the real talented rappers always go with the mediocre beats? Talib has had a couple bangers that even made the radio. Could someone tell him putting out those type of songs is not a crime. This album is gonna come out, its not gonna do well and he's gonna get mad at the label, like its their fault. Jay Electronica is no doubt on another level, but what makes "I just wanna go to the slum and throw my money on the floor like the notorious bum / Build a home, teach a class, start a revolution / Free the mind, heal the body, talkin' evolution." a quotable? Its not!

    • Titooo

      Truth. I just heard 3 tracks and according to the overall quality of the tracks the album won't be even closer to the level they had on Train of Thought. hiphopdx rates the albums too high...there are a lot 4 stars album and most of them should be 3 or 3.5

    • Titooo

      Truth. I just heard 3 tracks and according to the overall quality of the tracks the album won't be even closer to the level they had on Train of Thought. hiphopdx rates the albums too high...there are a lot 4 stars album and most of them should be 3 or 3.5

  • pablitro

    i feel Hi Tek production, very good album 4 stars.

  • wtflameassyoungmoney

    LAMES

  • NYMatt

    Sounds good so far. I hope this is as good as the Kam Moye splitting image album.

  • the man.

    boo Hi Tek! only a couple of gems in terms of production. what the hell Tek? I know youre better than this

  • I.M.O

    Wont believe it til i hear it. DX gives any album a 4x who they believe is considered "real hip-hop" even if the album is trash which is kind of dickride-ish of them. But ima def check this out. Good to see these brothers back!!

    • Titooo

      Absolutely agree on that. If hiphopdx rate the album 4x then it means it should be 3 or 3.5.... If we believe on hiphopdx ratings we would believe that classic albums are being released every month...

  • DJJJ

    This is the music I love, Hip-Hop is my heart and soul. PEACE & LOVE WORLD! I am going to Best Buy and buying the physical copy of this to support the artists that deserve it.

  • C.

    it will never match up if compare it to "train of thought" NOT because its not as good but if you listen to Train Of Thought then its classic to you & that beings a lot more emotions into play. just listen to this album for a few months then make your opinion but judge it as a record of its own, never compare a record to another record. ( i can't formulate an opinion being that the record is not even released yet there for i've not been able to honestly listen to the record in dif. moods, settings & situations)

    • wolfman

      People always expect the same exact formula they got before. I listened to this album with an ear for new and interesting music and production. I'm happy with what I got from it. Personally, I rated it a 4 earlier. And, really it's in the Top 3 albums I've heard this year. If you can appreciate artists reaching out into a broader direction, this is great. Yeah, I wish there were some harder beats like Train of Thought, but I still appreciate the NEW sound I got from their sophomore album. I will DEFINITELY pick-up there third if there is one, because they're in the top 10% of the rap game, PERIOD.

    • the man.

      it is definitely not as good as train of thought

  • Jacob Crim

    Ok I just got done streaming it for the second time and I really enjoyed it but it is VERY long. 17 tracks for ANY album is very long and the first half of Revolutions Per Minute is very very dope but then it starts to slump. Overall its good but I wont buy it .

  • kjns

    this isn't as good as train or thought, or Eardrum for that matter, but it's decent

  • FLX

    Sorry but i aint feeling this album. Teks beats are almost all boring and horribly uninspired. And Kweli is a good dude and i like his lyrics and messages but he is failing to grab my attention sufficiently to carry my interest through this mediocre album. Sigh. What a disappointment. Where is the magic?

  • kush nap

    talib samples so many different flows and styles here. hi-tek does the same, no track is alike. i cant believe they finally dropped this album. it lives up to the hype in my opinion. fuckin incredible. take your time with this album people. dont play into the album concept and look like an idiot. revolutions per minute, how much can you get out of your day? only thing i didnt care for were the skits, and thats nitpickin. dave chappelle is nowhere to be found, so fake nelson mandela had 2 take a breather. hi-teks drums get more immense every year. his kits are awesome. talib kills the album front to back. lets hope a blackstar project can go down. its all on mos def, since hes the only party that isnt ready for it. i dont think mos really gives a fuck about hip hop like that anymore, which is a shame. if that cant happen, another reflection eternal album will do! 5 star album. 5 mics. go cop it and tell a friend. may 18 epic release date. kweli/hi tek - nas/marley... hip hop lives.

  • MYLIE

    Listening to Train of Thought right now and really nostalgic music for me. one my favourite albums ever. i like tis album but it dosn't hold a cadle to the 1st album. some great tracks but Hi-teks productions sounds like his not even trying. very surprised and pissed off i waited 10 years for this. but its better then not getting nothing from them.

  • drm

    oh but wait how is long hot summer a rework of dear summer? wheres your source for that? sounds nothing like weldon irvines -morning sunrise

  • Indiemuzik

    Talib's still got it!

  • edubble79

    I bought blackstar in 99', someone stole it and i bought it again. Bought train of thought in 2000 then bought quality, right about now, eardrum and beautiful struggle, bought black on both sides but not any other mos def cds after that. ecstatic was ok not as good as eardrum. Ive seen RE in 3 shows and blackstar perform twice. I would prefer to see talib perform over mos since mos is a racist elitist who has lost touch with the listeners of his music. The best talib show ive ever seen was when he opend for the beastie boys at red rocks in 05, i think. Anyways anybody have more experience listening to these guys than me? didn't think so, last time i saw them perform was with jay elec and jay kept stopping his songs half way through and perform the second half of song in spoken word, kinda ruined the songs in my opinion. whats really funny about all this is i am white and i believe talib and mos have more white listeners than anything else. most black guys who listen to "hip hop and rap" don't know who they are. when blackstar first came out, I asked a rap listener friend of mine if he knew who talib kweli and mos def are and he said i like mos def but he couldnt repeat talibs name back because he either couldnt pronounce it or had already forgotten it. hahahah ganja marijuana, collie lambsbread, ak48, fuckin incredible

  • drigz

    when was this album called train of thought 2 motherfuckers??? no. this is called maturity. train of thought was about the hardships and whats goes on in the street life for a street intellectual. this goes on as a more revolutionary/global outtake on life evolving from the streets, to the entire world. i can appreciate this. thanks R.E. for making it just right

  • lyrisize

    Alright -- No promo on this album; yea yea yae, it's not coming out til... next week?That's pretty god damn soon! I've always been a huge Kweli supporter, but honestly, Kweli's working with what he's working with, and that's shitty beats. Really disappointed with Hi-Tek. Cahhhhhhhm on my dude? Really? How many years have you been making beats? Would've expected some gems for Kweli right? Just a few for that "Reflection Eternal" album? Him and Carson Palmer should kick it -- similar careers, same state. Shit, even the album cover's wack. Kweli's got more skill than most of these dude's in the industry. But my man's getting a little old. Someone's gotta say it. Bottom line. 3.5 mics. If that. Disappointed, but not surprised.

    • MYLIE

      i have to co-sign y'all. I love Train of Thought i grew up with that album.listening to it now is just really disapointing.

    • drm

      the production was pretty solid man, especially since a majority is not sample based. i feel the beats were made the way they are to leave breathing room for kwelis lyrics which were really on point and i read they went through a gang of beats, that kweli had major influence on the sound. let the overall product grow on you, the albums solid give or take a few songs. id give it a 4 - 4.5/5

    • rkonmd

      Co-sign. Kweli came with it, but Hi-Tek gave him some of the most un-inspired production I've heard in a long time. Huge surprise and let down.

  • dlp23602

    THEY FELL OFF!!!! I'LL STICK TO TRAIN OF THOUGHT....

  • thizzle dance

    "We really should be brothers united against the industry The African diaspora is scattered with shattered history the game missin me, rappers so repetitive although I aint your blood or your cuz it's all relative" -Talib Kweli off Revolutions Per Minute album which drops the same day as Distant Relatives. They shoulda linked up.

  • FINAL GRADE FOR THIS ALBUM

    HONESTLY THESE GUYS ARE NO DIFFERENT FROM DRAKE AND LIL WAYNE, TALIB KWELI IS FUCKIN TRASH AND I WONT BUY HIS SHIT, NOT EVEN FOR FREE, TALIB IS A BITCH AND HE HAS BORING ASS INTELLECTUAL FLOWS RATHER THEN JUST TOUGH PUNCHLINES WITH WITTY DIALOGUE, ANYHOW....I THOUGHT I SHOULD SAY THAT..... HIP HOP IS FUCKIN DONE, IT IS A OLD ART, DEAD ARTFORM, ITS GONE WITH THE WIND, THERE IS NO MORE ENERGY ANYMORE AND THE GRITTINESS AND FORMULA IS GONE.

  • these guys are straight garbage

    THESE GUYS ARE NO DIFFERENT FROM DRAKE AND LIL WAYNE, TALIB KWELI IS FUCKIN TRASH AND I WONT BUY HIS SHIT, NOT EVEN FOR FREE, TALIB IS A BITCH AND HE HAS BORING ASS INTELLECTUAL FLOWS RATHER THEN JUST TOUGH PUNCHLINES WITH WITTY DIALOGUE, ANYHOW....I THOUGHT I SHOULD SAY THAT..... HIP HOP IS FUCKIN DONE, IT IS A OLD ART, DEAD ARTFORM, ITS GONE WITH THE WIND, THERE IS NO MORE ENERGY ANYMORE AND THE GRITTINESS AND FORMULA IS GONE.

  • YaYouKnow

    Not Train of Thought but still dope compared to most. Lovin Ballad of the Black Gold

  • Wahrheit

    all tracks so far are dope...

  • treeeeeees

    rappers try to come up with corny stage names like Wacka Flacka.... Talib Kweli literally means "student of truth" in arabic and swahili

  • dis nigga trollin

    this album is going to be trash!! lil wayne rockin both these niggas!!!!

    • Big Tex

      I love how this guy implies that he will not even give the album a chance because he's too caught up in the Weezy hype. Actually listen to the album before giving an opinion of any sort man. Talib easily is a better lyricist.

    • dis nigga trollin

      i think lil wayne is ass cheese but thanks for playing the game!

    • Macca187

      Dude, read his name: 'DIS NIGGA TROLLIN'. He said that just to piss you off weather he believes it or not. Don't feed to troll.

    • b haze

      wayne is not hip hop he is r&b, garbage, trash, washed up, etc.

  • B-ROY

    Great album that reminds me the last one.

  • Drucifer1983

    Damn, I aint even know this was out yet, what kind of idiots do they have doing there promotion?? I'ma jet to Itunes, listen and come back with thoughts......

  • nastynas4life

    Damn...all the songs are dope! Can't wait to BUY this and Distant Relatives on Tuesday!

  • wolfman

    Ask, and I shall receive? =) "It’s not everyday that a pair of talented musicians vow to return together to make lightening strike twice…and actually mean it. With Reflection Eternal back in the fold with Revolutions Per Minute, waiting another 10 years for their next album will seem impossible." Seriously! I can't wait 10 years for the next Reflection Eternal. I demand these legends give me a hit every 2 years at the most. Kweli's good, but when he's with Hi-Tek, he's GREAT.

  • these guys are straight garbage

    THIS IS SOME WEAK SHIT: GET SOME ALBUMS FROM PLANET, SKYZOO, COLD HEAT, RAEKWON, GZA, CRAIG G, MASTA ACE, ETC. FUCK THESE CLOWNS, THEY FUCKIN SUCK!

    • amaru

      gza>>>>>>kweli

    • treeeeeees

      random ass list of lukewarm rappers and noone better than Kweli

    • b haze

      whoever wrote this is the most ignorant person alive, and doesn't have a clue about real hip hop. reflection eternal have some of the nicest beats and sickest lyrics in the game. get the dick out your ear faggot.

    • open ears / open mind

      I like Skyzoo as well, but I'm not sure how you can think Talib is weak, but Skyzoo is not. Sky is essentially cut from the same cloth in that he's someone of a conscious rapper with gritty lyrics.

    • NAME (NOT REQUIRED)

      You're kidding right? Those guys are OK, actually lukewarm these days, but Talib Kweli is better than all of them lyrically. Skyzoo? Seriously? The most boring MC in the world who's flow NEVER changes?

  • pienman

    yo, i still am sleeping on talib a bit... i am slowly waking up,.,! he is a great lyricist by far... no doubt! hopefully we can get a new ablum by signee jean grae

    • NAME (NOT REQUIRED)

      Probably the 3 best classics of this genre, but Black Star is far and away the best of the 3.

    • Macca187

      Anyone else like Mos Def's Black on Both Sides more than Train of Thought and Blackstar?

    • A Pimp named slickback.

      word, yea you say the whole thing. like A Tribe Called Quest

    • khordkutta

      I'll co-sign you Slickback...excuse me... A Pimp Named Slickback.

    • MightyMike27

      Naw I like Train Of Thought better than Blackstar too.. I listened to that album so many times. Blackstar is amazing too but got a couple weak tracks (children's story)..well actually i think that's the only one lol Kweli is a genius. No debating. Mos Def too..

    • a pimp named slickback.

      am i the only one who likes Train of Thought > Blackstar? i think i might be

    • MikeJack

      Whatever you do... Go out and get Mos Def and Talib Kweli are... Blackstar it'll change your life

    • a pimp named slickback.

      start w/ 'Train of Thought' for the 1999 ish Kweli, then cop 'Quality' to hear Kweli smash a ton of crazy Kanye beats both classics in my book

  • patrickBATEMAN

    obviously i cannot rate this album because of the fact that it hasn't been released yet, but this is the only album i'll probably purchase this year! w/out question RE is one the best artists in hip hop!

  • kush nap

    its almost a shame the media gotta rush to get a review out. i wasnt expecting this to be better than the first RE album, just wanted a good follow up. thats what it is. kweli verses are real dense. both RPM and distant relatives are jam packed lyrically/conceptually, youll catch jewels you missed early years from now. hip hop better go out and buy it.

  • stomya 1

    just begun = song of 2010. rest that have leaked seem good, midnight hour is annoyingly feel good, and ballad of black gold's beat is nice... give it a proper listen when i buy it

  • Geno the King of Godz

    Kweli & Hi-Tek, you can never go wrong. Not a classic but a notch below. Good Shit.

  • ahuose

    Nice joints...I just feel the album lost some of its originality cos i had heard alot of the songs months ago. But lyrically its on point....just waiting on the Kanye West and Jay Electronica Joints...and dat sums d year up

  • ahuose

    Nice joints...I just feel the album lost some of its originality cos i had heard alot of the songs months ago. But lyrically its on point....just waiting on the Kanye West and Jay Electronica Joints...and dat sums d year up

  • Hrmm

    Waited a decade. I'll be at the mom n' pop, money in hand, Tuesday.

  • Jonan

    I'm only going to listen to this album when I get the CD in my hands. :D I've been waiting quite some time for this and I know I'm going to love it. I'm happy it got a 4, hopefully it'll be even better for me, a 5!

  • open ears / open mind

    So with all the praise in your review, why only 4 out of 5? Can't wait to hear this shit.

    • open ears / open mind

      what the fuck does that even mean? You rate the album a 1 then give no explanation as to why? You're a f'n lame.

  • Bauce

    Kweli a real Nigga and a dope spitter