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Talib Kweli

Biography

If abilities sold, Talib Kweli could have been probably one of the most commercially successful rappers of his period. Since it was, nevertheless, the earnest MC became probably one of the most critically effective rappers of his period, which dawned in the past due ’90s when he rapped alongside Mos Def and DJ Hi-Tek within the group Dark Celebrity. This trio of up-and-comers and their broadly acclaimed self-titled 1998 recording debut, Dark Celebrity, helped make Rawkus Information among the leading underground rap outposts from the past due ’90s. Kweli and Hi-Tek after that collaborated like a duo after some consideration Eternal (2000), which securely established them aside from Mos Def, who had opted solo. For an instant there, Kweli and his Rawkus affiliates appeared like a full-fledged motion — a go back to the type of hip-hop from the so-called golden age group. Nevertheless, it wasn’t to become. Rawkus somehow dropped its momentum, and its own roster unfortunately dispersed, departing Kweli by himself to transport the torch. He continuing his output, you start with a proper single debut, Quality (2002), and even though he didn’t rack up towering product sales quantities, he remained a crucial favorite. Actually, he was perhaps one of the most respected and reputed rappers over the major-label circuit through the middle-2000s, greatest evidenced by Jay-Z’s well-known Dark Record rhyme: “If abilities sold, truth end up being told/I’d oftimes be, lyrically, Talib Kweli.” Blessed in Brooklyn because the eldest of two sons of university professors, Kweli’s initial name, Talib, can be an Arabic name signifying “the seeker or pupil,” while his last name is really a Ghanaian name signifying “of truth or understanding.” He started developing his literary present in elementary college, where he’d compose short tales, poems, which type of stuff. It wasn’t until years afterwards in senior high school that he considered hip-hop as an electric outlet for his self-expression. In senior high school, he fulfilled a Dante Smith, better known today as Mos Def. This fateful conference additional drew Kweli toward hip-hop, and another fateful conference further persuaded him that he previously a bright potential as an MC. Throughout a 1994 visit to Cincinnati he fulfilled Tony Cottrell, aka DJ Hi-Tek, who at that time was section of an area rap group known as Disposition. Kweli impressed Hi-Tek throughout their period together, as well as the DJ asked the MC to visitor on several monitors for Mood’s 1997 record Doom. Quickly afterward, Kweli and Hi-Tek produced a relationship as Representation Eternal and documented “Fortified Live,” which a then-fledging Rawkus label released on its initial Soundbombing compilation. A season afterwards in 1998, both asked Mos Def in to the mix, as well as the Dark Star record resulted. With it emerged a reliable downpour of important acclaim that converted this business into mass media darlings overnight. They could not have marketed an incredible number of albums, but Kweli, Hi-Tek, and Mos Def most definitely impressed a great number of people, included in this critics, fellow rap performers, and lots of folks who liked an excellent old-fashioned hip-hop record with an focus on beats, rhymes, and lifestyle — not really dramatized gunplay or interpolations of tested pop songs. Which was the finish of Dark Star, nevertheless. In 1999 Mos Def released his debut single record, Dark on Both Edges, and turned from music and toward an performing career, departing Kweli and Hi-Tek independently. The duo came back to their Representation Eternal relationship and released an record of the same name in 2000. It spawned a set of minor strikes: “Move Somethin'” and “The Blast.” When Kweli came back along with his Quality record in 2002, issues had changed a little. For just one, he was really single. Mos Def was over, and Hi-Tek was off concentrating on his personal solo career like a for-hire maker. So Quality presented Kweli collaborating with a bunch of different performers, among them a and promising but still mainly unknown maker named Kanye Western. “MANAGE” was the fruits of Kweli’s cooperation with Western, and it became the rapper’s biggest strike up to now, aided a lot by way of a non-album remix offering Jay-Z of most people. The remix got a whole lot of radio perform, but nonetheless, Quality didn’t set up Jay-Z figures and Kweli continued to be a critical preferred, a status cemented even more in past due 2003 when Jigga provided him these high-profile shoutout in “Second of Clearness.” All this established the stage perfectly for THE STUNNING Struggle, which lowered in fall 2004. The targets for the album had been gargantuan due to the Jay-Z rhyme, and in addition because a large number of hip-hop disciples sensed Kweli was longer overdue to get a industrial breakthrough. The record was definitely his most industrial effort up to now, having a few token radio-ready connect performers like Mary J. Blige and Anthony Hamilton, not forgetting a roster of hitmaking manufacturers just like the Neptunes, Simply Blaze, and Kanye. It had been also Kweli’s most self-conscious up to now, nevertheless, since it was well obvious that the industrial pressures had started to impact his way of thinking. He responded by splitting from his distributor, Common, and laying low for some time, liberating a stopgap mixtape, Best About Right now (2005), via Koch. In expectation of his following solo recording, Kweli collaborated with maker Madlib around the digital-only Liberation, that was offered as a free of charge download through the 1st week of 2007 around the Rocks Throw site. Finally, in August of this same 12 months, Kweli released the full-length recording Eardrum by himself label, Blacksmith, with a collaboration with Warner Bros. Debuting at number 2 in the Billboard 200 and offering about 60,000 copies in its initial week, Eardrum was Kweli’s best-selling record up to now and highlighted beats from not merely Madlib but additionally Hi-Tek, Kanye, Pete Rock and roll, and will.i actually.am, amongst others, and featured guests want Norah Jones, UGK, Justin Timberlake, and Strong Arm Stable. This year 2010, the record Representation Eternal: Revolutions EACH AND EVERY MINUTE reunited Talib and Hi-Tek under their Representation Eternal moniker, after that that same season, the single Gutter Rainbows was the initial record to become released by Talib’s Talibra imprint. His 2013 discharge Prisoner of Mindful balanced radio-friendly amounts with an increase of abstract songs and presented Nelly, Curren$y, and Kendrick Lamar. The 2014 work Gravitas followed exactly the same route, this time around with Big K.R.We.T., Mike Posner, and article writer Neil Gaiman among its guests. A 12 months later on he came back with Indie 500, a collaborative recording with underground maker 9th Wonder. Another collaborative work — The Seven with Designs P — was released in 2017.

Quick Facts


Full Name Talib Kweli
Date Of Birth October 3, 1975
Profession Actor, Rapper, Singer, Poet, Screenwriter, Music artist
Education Cheshire Academy, New York University, Brooklyn Technical High School
Nationality American
Spouse DJ Eque
Children Amani Fela Greene, Diani Eshe Greene
Parents Brenda Greene, Perry Greene
Siblings Jamal Greene
Music Groups Black Star, Reflection Eternal, Idle Warship
Music Songs Get By, The Blast, Never Been in Love, Push Thru, Last Ones, Waitin' for the DJ, Every Ghetto, I Try, Black Girl Pain, Nine Point Five, Hot Thing, The Dreamer, Around My Way, Won't You Stay, Guerrilla Monsoon Rap, Everything Man, NY Weather Report, Fly That Knot, Colors of You, Make Way for the Black Prince, Drugs, Basketball, & Rap, Human Mic, Ghetto Show, The Perfect Beat, Favela Love, Ms. Hill, It Only Gets Better, Palookas, Hostile Gospel, Part 1, Put It in the Air, Gun Music, Talk to You
Albums Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, Eardrum, The Beautiful Struggle, Prisoner of Conscious, Indie 500, Quality, Gutter Rainbows, Gravitas, Liberation, Right About Now: The Official Sucka Free Mix CD, Attack the Block, The Beautiful Mixtape Vol. 2: The Struggle Continues, Brooklyn, Tennessee, The Seven, Habits of the Heart, P.O.C. Live! (Live), We Run This, Vol. 7 (Mixed by Mr. E of RPS Fam), Fuck the Money, Train of Thought: Lost Lyrics, Rare Releases & Beautiful B-Sides, Vol. 1
Nominations BET Hip Hop Award for Best Impact Track, Soul Train Music Centric Certified Award, VGX Award for Best Song in a Game
Movies Call + Response, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives, Blokhedz Mission G Animated Web Series, Talib Kweli: Live at the Shrine, Learn the Music, Talib Kweli: Prisoner Of Conscious, Live From Brooklyn
TV Shows Backstage Pass, Lyric Café


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 Is one half of the group Blackstar. The other member is Yasiin Bey.
2 Is CEO of Blacksmith Music.
3 Has a son born July 4, 1996 and a daughter born June 10, 1999. Talib raps about them in his song "Joy".


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 2015 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations 2012 TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode
Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap 2012 Documentary writer: "Fix Up"
The Colbert Report TV Series performer - 1 episode, 2011 writer - 1 episode, 2011
Yelling to the Sky 2011 performer: "R.I.P." / writer: "R.I.P."
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon TV Series performer - 1 episode, 2010 writer - 1 episode, 2010
Jimmy Kimmel Live! TV Series performer - 1 episode, 2010 writer - 1 episode, 2010
Strangers (Paranoid) 2010 Short performer: "Strangers Paranoid" / writer: "Strangers Paranoid"
How to Make It in America 2010 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Todd's Pop Song Reviews 2010 TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony 2009 Video Game performer: "My Favorite Song" / writer: "My Favorite Song" - as T. Kweli
30 Rock 2009 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned 2009 Video Game performer: "My Favorite Song" / writer: "My Favorite Song" - as T. Kweli
Entourage 2008 TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 2008 performer: "Everything Man"
First Sunday 2008 performer: "Get By" / writer: "Get By" - as TK Green
Superbad 2007 writer: "My Favorite Mutiny"
Freedom Writers 2007 "Listen!!!" / performer: "Listen!!!"
My Brother 2006 performer: "Get By" / writer: "Get By" - as T.K. Greene
Stick It 2006 performer: "Abracadabra" / writer: "Abracadabra" - as Talib Kweli Greene
Dave Chappelle's Block Party 2005 Documentary performer: "Get Em High", "Definition", "Move Somethin'", "Umi Says", "Get By" / writer: "Definition", "Move Somethin'", "Get By" / writer: "Get Em High" - as Talib Kweli Greene
Brown Sugar 2002 writer: "Brown Sugar Raw" - as Talib Kweli Green
Ken Park 2002 writer: "Brown Skin Lady" - as Talib K. Green
Madden NFL 2002 2001 Video Game performer: "Down for the Count" / writer: "Down for the Count"

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
30 Rock 2009 TV Series Talib Kweli - He Needs a Kidney Performed by
Blokhedz Mission G Animated Web Series 2009 Short Young Blak
Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure 2005 Video Game Trane (voice)

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Cold Rain 2011 Video
Strangers (Paranoid) 2010 Short writer

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Strangers (Paranoid) 2010 Short executive producer
Talib Kweli presents Blacksmith TV 2008 Video short executive producer

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Enemy 2012 Short musician

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Breaking & Entering 2013 TV Series special thanks - 2013
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations 2012 TV Series documentary special thanks - 1 episode

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Colbert Report 2011 TV Series Himself - Guest / Himself - Guest and Musical Guest
Business as Usual: The Exploitation of Hip Hop 2011 Documentary Himself
What's Trending 2011 TV Series Himself
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 2011 Documentary Himself (voice)
The Mo'Nique Show 2011 TV Series Himself
Cold Rain 2011 Video Himself
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest 2011 Documentary Himself
Brave New Voices 2010 2010 TV Movie documentary Himself
ReGeneration 2010 Documentary Himself
Jimmy Kimmel Live! 2004-2010 TV Series Himself / Himself - Musical Guest
Strangers (Paranoid) 2010 Short Himself
Timeless: The Composer/Arranger Series (Suite for Ma Dukes) 2010 Video documentary Himself - Lyricist
Talib Kweli presents Blacksmith TV 2008 Video short Himself
Call + Response 2008 Documentary Himself
Hip Hop vs. America II: Where Did the Love Go? 2008 TV Movie Himself
Last Call with Carson Daly 2005-2008 TV Series Himself
mtvU Woodie Awards 2007 2007 TV Special Himself - Presenter
Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome 2007 Documentary Himself
Parallel Paths 2007 TV Series Himself (2007)
Rap City 2007 TV Series Himself - Guest
Backstage Pass 2006 TV Series Himself
3rd Annual VH1 Hip-Hop Honors 2006 TV Movie Himself
September in Brooklyn: The Making of 'Block Party' 2006 Video documentary short Himself
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes 2006 Documentary Himself
Made You Look: Top 25 Moments of BET History 2005 TV Special documentary Himself
Dave Chappelle's Block Party 2005 Documentary Himself
Trippin 2005 TV Series documentary Himself
Kanye West: College Dropout - Video Anthology 2005 Video documentary Himself (segment "Through the Wire")
All of Us 2005 TV Series Himself
Ego Trip's Race-O-Rama 2005 TV Series documentary Himself
The MC: Why We Do It 2005 Video documentary Himself
The Art of 16 Bars: Get Ya' Bars Up 2005 Video documentary Himself
The L-Bow Room 2004 TV Series Himself
Def Poetry 2002-2004 TV Series documentary Himself
The N Word 2004 Documentary Himself
Chappelle's Show 2003-2004 TV Series Himself - Musical Guest / Himself
Strong Arm Steady 2004 Video Himself
TV's Illest Minority Moments Presented by Ego Trip 2004 TV Movie Himself
Essence Awards 2003 TV Movie documentary Himself
Soundz of Spirit 2003 Documentary
Get Up, Stand Up 2003 TV Series documentary Himself - Interviewee
Hip Hop Babylon 2 2003 TV Movie documentary Himself
American Rap Stars 2002 Video documentary Himself
Brown Sugar 2002 Himself
Hughes' Dream Harlem 2002 TV Movie documentary Himself
Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme 2000 Documentary Himself
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee 2016 TV Series Himself
Tavis Smiley 2004-2016 TV Series Himself / Himself - Guest
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 2015 TV Series Himself - Musical Guest
#bars4Justice 2015 Documentary short Himself
Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives 2015 Documentary
Real Time with Bill Maher 2015 TV Series Himself - Guest
The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore 2015 TV Series Himself - Panelist
GGN: Snoop Dogg's Double G News Network 2013-2015 TV Series Himself
Larry King Now 2015 TV Series Himself - Guest
Checkpoints 2014 Short Himself
The Insider 2014 TV Series Himself - Rapper
The Arsenio Hall Show 2014 TV Series Himself - Musical Guest
Unsung 2014 TV Series documentary Himself
Til Infinity: The Souls of Mischief 2013 Documentary Himself
Conan 2013 TV Series Himself - Special Guest
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 2013 TV Series Himself - Musical Guest
Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton: This Is Stones Throw Records 2013 Documentary Himself
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 2009-2013 TV Series Himself - Musical Guest / Himself - Reflection Eternal
RapFix Live 2013 TV Series Himself
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations 2012 TV Series documentary Himself
2012 BET Hip Hop Awards 2012 TV Special Himself
Independent Lens 2012 TV Series documentary
Diary of a Decade: The Story of a Movement 2012 Documentary Himself
Art Creature: Alby Cohen 2011 Short Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Media Buzz 2014 TV Series Himself - Rapper
Inside Edition 2014 TV Series documentary Himself - Rapper

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