Talib Kweli & DJ Z-Trip - Attack The Block (Mixtape Review)

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Talib Kweli's vibrant energy on "Attack the Block" combines forces with a laundry list of guests from household names to rising sensations.

A mixture of fun and freedom fighter since the late '90s, Talib Kweli has mastered the art of career survival in a fickle game that often looks past the deserving. While key aspects to his longevity have been a knack for entertainment and strong beat selection, he has shouldered criticisms of betraying his core with questionable collaborations that have broadened his base. With anticipation steady building for the forthcoming Prisoner Of Conscious LP, Kweli has given listeners an extensive appetizer with the free of charge Attack The Block.

Assisted by the turntable exercises of DJ Z-Trip, Talib Kweli's vibrant energy combines forces with a laundry list of guests from household names to rising sensations, a versatility that rarely compromises his music. Mindful of his grassroots beginnings, Talib's streak with the Strange Fruit Project's S1 extends to work with the producer's son VohnBeatz and understudy J Rhodes respectively on the boards for "Letter To The Government" and "Congregation" (co-starring Ab-Soul and Black Thought). Faithful to the underground element formerly associated with his craft, the veteran gives light to John Forte, Skyzoo, Posdnuous and Fashawn with "That's Enough" and demonstrates his always growing range exchanging romantic Rap alongside Ryan Leslie on "Outstanding."

Truly pleasant surprises come as the more prolific half of Black Star matches wits with Mac Miller for "Earning Potential," aligns himself with the contrasting tough style of Black Hippy's Jay Rock on "The Corner," and miraculously pulls a clean verse free of vulgarity out of Lil Wayne on "Celebrate." These meetings on middle ground display flexibility previously thought unfathomable, testament to Kweli's dedication to progressing the culture. Though slight drawbacks come from the spin on Tyga's recent ratchet hits with "Make It Classy," the avant-garde Das Racist on "I Like It" and an outdated Greg Nice spot on the Big Apple tribute "NY Shining," Attack The Block mostly benefits as a well-rounded and concise effort. Talib Kweli continues establishing his brand as one bridging the gaps between past and present while also acting as a medium finding chemistry with glamorous and lesser heard emcees alike. If able to excuse the orchestrated business moves behind a few of his creative decisions, Hip Hop fans from all walks of life can find enjoyment in this star-studded effort.

DX Consensus: "Free Album" (the highest possible praise for a mixtape)

Listen to Attack the Block by Talib Kweli and DJ Z-Trip

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27 Comments

  • mandingo

    Xcellent got me bopping my head like a dashboard dog.Hiphop apparently aint dead

  • hiphop god

    great, classic mixtape couldnt ask for more from the vet. and that song with Ab-Soul's fuckin best song of the year maybe

  • Klassik Records

    I jam this everytime I get in the car. this cd only tells me that Prisoner of consciousness is gonna be another classic like revolutions per minute

  • Anonymous

    can i get a church from the congregation ?

  • TheMaze

    This tape is hella dope,play this shit evri morning! even Wayne sounds betta when he's wit Kweli

    • me

      i remember when i first saw wayne on the distant relatives cd and was like wtf was nas and damien thinking...then i heard his verse and was like wow he actually stepped it up and cut the bullshit out for once

    • Anonymous

      lol i thought the same thing. haha only time ill listen to wayne

  • dT

    Dope mixtape thats as well executed as an album. Fly away is work of art.

  • Arlmeg

    Talib ahead of the game

  • mr. tibbs

    It is such a disappointment that someone that resurrected my love for hip hop hop during the dreaded Master P days has fallen off Really hard. This is not a Talib album at all, this trash isn't even good enough for the radio. I have been waiting for Jean Grae for 2 years and you shelve her album for this shit? I heard you bitching about downloaders and record sales a little while back. That's no excuse to lay down, do fucking shows then nagga.

  • AnimalKingdom

    you can find couple of tight tracks. That's all! DOn't expect too much! Mac Miller, Lil wayne and he could make one more track with 2chainz in order to be look nice to industry and listeners. It's not his line. I don't wanna hear these kinda featurings. I don't wanna see legends like that. F... that! I can't stand anymore. I listened MF DOOM's JJDOOM album and there was no any media monkey in the album. It was extremely tight. Public Enemy - Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear On No Stamp! I also listened this album. Chuck D is one of the real legends. I didn't hear any commercial track or electronic techno sh*t. He did his thing and it was tight. The thing I tried to say is there are still big names can continue to play this game with his strick rules. I'm going to support & respect these real artists all the time!

  • carAnthony

    3-3.5/5 for me (but still better than 80% of the crap out there)... Looking for new album!!!

  • fap 93

    This was crazy, I can't believe how wide the guests were and that he made some people that I would normally wouldn't fuck with sound good.

  • TigerPawRaw

    Can't really give it a full rating, since I stopped listening to it about 4 songs in. When I first heard Kweli on the Lyricists Lounge album, I, like most of my friends, was dumbfounded by his dopeness (I was a Freshman in high school at the time). Even throughout high school, I was jamming to everything he dropped (the Black Star album, RE: Eternal, etc...). Shit, Mood's "Doom" was an underground classic. To this day, those albums are still great. But something about Kweli's more recent stuff is just hard for me to vibe to. It's not anything I can really put my finger on. He's still a talented lyricist, I guess. Something about his music just doesn't work for me. But hey, that's just me, and that doesn't mean I don't respect his body of work. Like I said, those joints he dropped were classics. As for new music from him, I don't think I'll be checking for it any more after this. From the 4 songs I listened to, the beats were cool, it's just like I was saying, I just wasn't feeling his shit. I felt corny listening to it, so I had to shut that shit off.

    • Klassik Records

      This is what it is Kweli is evolving. he's venturing out into new things. He's still doing what he does but is altering it a bit. Thats why day he is still relevent in music today. (study him, from black star to attack the block. you'll see what I mean)

    • Anonymous

      im sure and positive that he did this mixtape as a project, its him set aside of the Prisoner of Conscience. you can stay in your own lane but still gotta be versatile, nah mean. a highways got more than one lane and multiple junctions.

    • reality1212

      man i completely agree @tigerpawraw. he is a dope lyricist but something is missing for sure... maybe his voice/flow doesn't mix with 90% of the beats he chooses. and that's not to say his beats are wack, just doesn't jive with his style maybe..

    • Anonymous

      I agree wth you100. i started feeling that that when I heard Eardrum. I think the problem is he jiust needs to accept who he is as rapper. Nothing wron with it. I don't see 2 chainz hooking uo wit mos def. stay in your lane

    • kevology

      I kinda understand. But i kinda don't. He mixes it up a bit on his mixtapes. Kweli is still dope as fuck. And you should've listened to more than 4 tracks. Dude is still doin it bro.

  • d

    This is amazing! Why arent the hiphop fans discussing this? Instead the fucking idiots are busy trolling about slaughterhouse and wayne... No wonder hip hop is dying.

    • Anonymous

      agreed, can i get a church from the congregation ! ahah. been playing this mixtape since it came out and anticipating Prisoner of Conscience.

  • ....

    Dope as fuck mixtape... Loved the song that samples Tracy Chapman.

  • word

    Shit, way better than Gutter Rainbows...

    • Demoorelizer

      I wholeheartedly agree. I could not get into Gutter Rainbows at all, and it drew lots of praise online. This tape is dope. I'd give it a 4.25/5. Great features too. I love how he changed the samples/beats up.