The BK MC Talib Kweli sits with Off The Record to discuss the “DJ vs. Band” dichotomy in hip-hop, what makes a great MC and then performs a live take of “Turnt Up” with band intact. On the topic of that timeless debate, as to whether the DJ killed the live band or vice versa, Kweli notes that hip-hop was conceived by DJs and to strip the tradition of that component makes the product more a derivation or synthesis of others.
A man of such formidable lyrical prowess obviously took the opportunity to discuss what in fact makes a great MC, citing various components as focal points. Those included the ability to feel out a beat, a sound business acumen and a very real sense of obligation to both your family and your community, specifically acknowledging his son’s presence as a motivator to do well in his life and by his family. Once the discussion simmered a bit, Kweli & Co jumped into a smoothed out live take of his Eric B & Rakim nod “Turnt Up”, which borrows several components from the titanic hip-hop duo’s “Paid In Full”, particularly that of the walking bass and shuffling drum track (duly noted by the band.) You can watch both the interview and the live cut of “Turnt Up” for Off The Record below.