Raise your hand if you predicted seeing Bow Wow in the booth with Talib Kweli. No, seriously. The former cornered the tween R&B/Rap duet market to the point that he dubbed himself “Mr. 106 & Park,”—not exactly the distinction that earns you approval on the block. On the other side of this pairing, Kweli has been pigeonholed so much by fans of thought-provoking rhymes that he’s tentatively called his next album Prisoner of Consciousness.
“Working with Talib is definitely a pleasure,” Bow Wow said. During a break from filming Madea’s Big Happy Family, Bow Wow hit a Brooklyn studio with his ever-present videographer, Rico da Crook, to document the experience. “It’s an opportunity to work with a legend and just learn from him, and it’s definitely special. I think the record that we did together is perfect. It couldn’t be better.”
The seemingly unlikely duo of Bow Wow and Talib shared some mutual respect for each other as well as what one could assume is a mutual disdain for people’s preconceived notions about their mic skills. Bow Wow touted his upgraded delivery prior to the session; a delivery that Kweli confirmed has improved during their meeting.
After a similar pairing with Gucci Mane in 2010, Kweli challenged fans and critics who weren’t feeling his unorthodox collab, saying, “They pay so much attention to what they perceive to be negative, based on a limited world view, that they miss the positive, even when it’s right in their face.”
For his part, Bow Wow was visibly thrilled. The word “legend” was thrown around several times in regard to Kweli. He said the possible tracklist for his upcoming eighth album, Underrated, has been narrowed down to about 25 songs. Bow Wow added that the as-yet untitled Kweli collaboration is “definitely going on” the album.