Talib Kweli Recalls His Very First Encounter With Kanye West
Before he was the man we all hate to love, Kanye West was selling himself as nothing short of an artist. The primadonna tendencies may have all been in place, but when Talib Kweli first came across the fledgling Chicago upstart, he was barely out of his adolescence, wielding some of the most polished sonic suites the Brooklyn MC had ever come across.
A recent stop on N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN's Drink Champs podcast found Kweli shedding light on those first impressions of a hungry West, just beginning to break out as one of the industry's most coveted producers. According the BK MC, he first met Ye while recording his 2002 album Quality at NYC's storied Platinum Island Studios, when West arrived at the studio to meet Kweli's partner-in-rhyme, Yasiin Bey (then, Mos Def,) to shop some of his more recent productions. Bey had yet to arrive, but Kweli was more than happy to put an ear to Kanye's work, and took his beats instantly, nabbing every single one that was played for his sophomore solo album.
Kweli recalls how immediate the impact was and it prompted him to take Kanye on tour as the opening slot for Common during his Electric Circus tour. He also claims that West had both his debut and sophomore album planned out at the time, delegating which of his arsenal would end up on each album, College Dropout and Late Registration, respectively, after playing early versions of "Hey Mama" and "Jesus Walks" for Kweli. But don't take it from us, watch Talib Kweli tell his Kanye West story down below and jump back to watch Dave Chappelle tell his own Kanye tale.