“So far it’s a slow burn,” Kweli says regarding the independently released album and how fans have received it. “The vast majority of my fans don’t even know it’s out. I’m pleased that I have a project that I completely own that has the opportunity for so much growth. We’re really just getting started. February 18th when the CD comes out we’re going to do a slightly more elaborate push than we did on December 15th.”
Kweli’s decision to release this album independently is a sign of the times, he says.
“That’s kind of where I think the music for independent artists is evolving to,” Kweli adds. “I wasn’t necessarily trying to do that so soon — I had just dropped Prisoner of Conscious. Ryan Leslie came to me with the idea for the platform he had built and he was successful with it. He was just excited about Ryan Leslie. He was excited about the idea. This really was the most experimental album I’ve ever dropped. Maybe Liberation was more experimental ‘cause we just kind of dropped it out the blue for free, but as far as an album being for sale, this is the most experimental I’ve been.”
From discussing his experimental work in music, Kweli also discussed experimenting with drugs on the Spitkickers 2000 Tour, which took place in 2000. The tour, which also featured Common, De La Soul and Biz Markie, was a learning experience, Kweli says.
“That was my first major tour ever,” he says. “I learned a lot. Me and Hi-Tek were the youngest on the tour. We were on tour with people who had done it a long time. Biz Markie, De La Soul, my favorite group of all-time. I grew up and became a man on that tour basically. It was like a bunch of dudes looting and pillaging every city. We were running through every city like, ‘Raaaahhh!’ No women were on the tour other than the women we met that night. I was on beast mode on that tour certainly! I got home from that tour and I was going to bed at night and I’d wake up and my whole bed would be covered in sweat for two days straight. I went to the doctor. I was scared, I thought something had happened to me and the doctor was like, ‘No, you’re exhausted. The toxins are leaving your body. You need to just not do sh*t for like a week.’ That tour was definitely like an experience and an education for me. I was drinking, smoking too much, fuckin’ doing mushrooms. I had to stop doing mushrooms from that experience. That tour was just too much for me.”
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