Over 20 years after delivering 1998’s Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star album, Talib Kweli has become synonymous with political activism and diverging Twitter account almost as much as the words “classic Hip Hop.” Following the April release of his collaborative EP with Styles P, The Seven, Kweli drops Radio Silence, his first solo album since 2015’s F*** The Money.
— Okayplayer (@okayplayer) November 18, 2017
On Radio Silence, hope has been restored for those that believe Hip Hop is dead. More than a return to form for Kweli, this album could not have come at a better time. Clocking in at 11-tracks, Radio Silence begins loud and clear with “The Magic Hour,” which ushers in a nearly 45-minute, jazz-infused journey through the mind of an educated and seasoned MC. Hearing the instrumentation on this record will warm your heart and polish your soul. The title of this record, Radio Silence, is a call to action. The record itself is a stand against complacency, a move to break the silence.
No surprise at all, Kweli truly shines on the politically motivated tracks when he’s able to rap about things he’s passionate about. The opening protest sample on “All of Us” proves that Talib Kweli can strike a balance between the lecture and the art. “All of Us,” featuring Jay Electronica and singer Yummy Bingham, starts with audio of a political rally in Ferguson, Missouri that repeats Assata Shakur’s words, “It is our duty to fight for our Freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” Kweli takes the reigns first but allows enough room for Electronica to explore the topic of systemic oppression as if they’re a united force. The two seamlessly ping-pong off each other as they make a plea for unity.
— Entertainment Voice (@EV_LOSANGELES) November 28, 2017
Within the soundscapes of 2017, he finds pockets that inspire him and discloses them in full. While the socio-political commentary may be typical of Kweli’s catalog, with this album, it seems more urgent considering the current political climate of America. He recognizes that “hip-hop will flourish with nourishment and the proper care,” and still actively plays his part.
Written by: @happyfeetjones