Revivalist Exclusive: Talib Kweli Talks Gravitas & American Culture
Talib Kweli discusses the Gravitas LP - his forthcoming project due out in December - and the nuance of American culture in a recent interview with The Revivalist. The project, which follows his Prisoner Of Conscious LP, was produced entirely by Q-Tip. Kweli's decision to enlist the A Tribe Called Quest frontman was a creative choice rooted in Tip's historically unique sonic approach. During his chat with The Revivalist Kweli touches on a range of topics including his thoughts on the intersection of politics and popular music and a bit of what life's been like on the road touring with Macklemore and Big K.R.I.T. Check the text below to get a taste of what Kweli had to say ahead of the release of his new LP. Pre-order Gravitas via KweliClub.com. Purchase the Prisoner Of Conscious LP via iTunes. Scroll down to read the full interview.
50 years ago there was the same mistrust of the authority and the government that a lot of people are feeling today and it bred a lot of politically conscious music. Why don’t you think that’s happening on the same scale today?
I do think that’s happening on a large scale today. You’ve got Macklemore and Ryan Lewis—one of the biggest groups out there—talking about conscious issues. People are excited about Pussy Riot. There are lots of examples in the mainstream. But you’re correct that mainstream culture in general is not embracing socially conscious music. But let me challenge you by asking this: When has that ever happened?
When has the Top 10 ever been filled with culturally relevant songs aside from one or two—the Grateful Dead had a hit, Bob Marley had a couple hits, Dylan had a couple hits on the radio. But that’s not what it’s ever been.
Touring with an acts like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Big K.R.I.T. has to be exciting for you then.
It is a cool tour. I’m excited to be with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis because of what they’re doing in hip-hop and the standard they set for independent artists. I’m also excited to be on tour with someone as talented as Big K.R.I.T. I think it’s a great balance of acts.
What’s the lowdown on Gravitas and how Q-Tip became involved?
Q-Tip is one of my heroes, one of my direct inspirations. We were just working on some new music together and that material will be on my new album. I’m excited for it to all come out somehow someway.
>>>Read the full interview with Talib Kweli at The Revivalist