Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blue Moon

Once in a blue moon I run across some worthy hip-hop track that 1) transcends the genre a bit, and 2) actually needs greater exposure.. Such is the case with Talib Kweli's 'Cold Rain...' Reasons I like it: great piano riff, intelligence, a social conscience, and soulful backup singers on the chorus... All this makes for fresh air, as opposed to same old, same old... Talib Kweli Greene is not your average everyday MC/rapper: he's a thirtysomething from a highly educated Park Slope family; his Mom's a CUNY English Professor, his Dad works at Adelphi U, and his younger brother Jamal professes constitutional law at Columbia and was a clerk to John Paul Stevens... Talib's an alum of Cheshire Academy, the prestigious Connecticut boarding school, and then studied experimental theater at NYU.. Talib actually means 'student' or 'seeker' in Arabic; 'Kweli' is Swahili for 'truth'; ('uhuru' means freedom in Swahili, hence the Star Trek lieutenant..) He's had scant radio play (except for guess spots for the likes of Black Star, Common and Mos Def, rap-only hits on million-selling albums), and yet enjoys critical acclaim and celebrity fans (Justin Timberlake and Quincy Jones do cameos on his tracks) and his latest album, Gutter Rainbows, has sold 19,000 copies on word of mouth since its January release. In case you are not one of the lucky 19,000, feast your eyes - and ears - on 'Cold Rain'... Hear Talib talk about his take on music, life, and his current album and tour... Here's one of Talib's best-known earlier rap hits, 2003's 'Get By'...again, musical track hard to resist... From Wikipedia: Rapping (also known as emceeing, MCing, spitting (bars), or just rhyming) refers to "spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics". The art form can be broken down into different components, as in the book How to Rap where it is separated into “content”, “flow” (rhythm and rhyme), and “delivery”. Rapping is distinct from spoken word poetry in that it is performed in time to a beat.

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