Talib Kweli – Right About Now
Release Date: November 22, 2005
Record Label: Koch Records/Blacksmith Music
Certain genres of music rely on a particular amount of street cred—with Talib Kweli’s credentials already being covered by cult albums Quality and The Beautiful Struggle, there are no hesitations in offering an album showcasing a conscious effort that walks the line of street heat and night club beats. And being a “student of truth” isn’t an easy burden to carry. Good thing Talib Kweli comes armed with a truth militia on his latest mixed tape Right About Now. Emcees and rappers like MF Doom, Mos Def, Papoose, Phil Da Agony and Planet Asia dive into a heavy-hitting album that portrays Kweli’s strong and confident rhyme-spitting abilities.
Among the 12 tracks, the most stand-out piece is an arrangement dedicated to Lauryn Hill entitled “Ms. Hill”. The ballad tells of Kweli and Ms. Hill’s extinguished friendship and pays homage to her allegiance in the hip hop community, saying “They won’t let you read your poem at the BET Awards / you give us hope you give us faith, you the one / They don’t like what you have to say but yet they beg you to come”. If this beat sounds at all familiar, you’ve probably heard it before. Kweli samples a Ben Kweller track (strangely enough) as he raps the indecencies of the silenced black voice.
Other strong tracks include nocturnal hip hop songs like “Fly The Knot”—a high-energy, horn-tooting piece with MF Doom spitting his classic articulations—and “Rock On”—a weighty rap that drops in and out of tempo changing modes. More cooled-down, serious tracks “Flash Gordon”—Kweli raps relentlessly as his voice seems to ricochet and bounce creating several levels—and “Roll Off Me”, an everything-will-be-okay-we-all-go-through-hard-times advice track.
While some will be expecting The Beautiful Struggle Part Deux, I’m afraid the Supa Dave West produced album is a step down from Talib Kweli’s more original albums that knocked you off your feet. Fans of Kweli will not be let down that’s for sure, but fair-weather fans will more so favor his previous work. Right About Now sets on and puts out several fires—fires that more commercial rappers like 50 Cent, Ludacris and Nelly get their tans from.
This review is a user submitted review from Gabe Gross. You can see all of Gabe Gross's submitted reviews here.
talib kweli is infinitely better than 50 cent, ludacris and nelly. he's one of the best out there, if not THE best. i prefer "quality," but this CD has some awesome tracks. the beat to "fly that knot" is one of the best i have ever heard. kweli is king.
I love this album. you are right about "fly the knot" and "Ms. Hill". Those are def. some amazing songs. I love Kweli and this is up there as one of my favorite rap albums. Good review, I probably would have given it a little higher score though, but thats your job, not mine. Good review.