16 December 2013

16th December - Talib Kweli's Quality

Artist – Album: Talib Kweli – Quality
Released: 16th December 2002
Sounds Like: Take a trip down Quality street

“Please welcome,
a good friend, scholar, ghetto philosopher,
three time Nobel Peace Prize winner,
first black man to pilot an air craft,
the nigga that made up the Nike Swoosh,
the man that made Kool Aid say, "Ohh Yea"
Brooklyn's own,
Talib Kweli”

So goes Dave Chappelle’s intro to Quality on ‘Keynote Speaker’. Rap might be fertile ground for ridiculous bravado, but, for once, a rapper actually possesses the class to justify it.

As one third of cult favourites Black Star, Kweli displayed his chops as a top rapper, but, as Mos Def struck out on his own, Kweli’s success became something of an underground thing. Which is a shame, as the imagination, skill and fluidity that he shows on this, his debut album, was easily the equal of his mid-noughties contemporaries. Had ‘Get By’, the album’s funkiest track and one featuring a then little known Kanye West, been released two years later, Kweli would no doubt have stormed up the charts.

As the regal Jay-Z had it in the Black Album’s ‘Moment of Clarity’ – “If skills sold, truth be told. I’d probably be, lyrically, Talib Kweli”.

Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.       Keynote Speaker – 2:14
2.       Rush – 3:42
3.       Get By – 3:47
4.       Shock Body – 3:49
5.       Gun Music – 3:45
6.       Waitin’ for the DJ – 4:03
7.       Joy – 4:14
8.       Talk to You (Lil’ Darlin’) – 5:00
9.       Guerrilla Monsoon Rap – 4:13
10.   Put It in the Air – 4:56
11.   The Proud – 5:06
12.   Where Do We Go – 3:58
13.   Stand to the Side – 6:32
14.   Good to You – 4:21
15.   Won’t You Say – 5:25
Listen to ‘Get By’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVtpXvzzXiA

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