After performing at The Roundhouse in London on the 17th of this month, Talib Kweli invited SoulCulture down to the studio the next day, where he was joined by Akon affiliated UK emcee Sway to record a song together.
He later refers to other homegrown talents Kano, Estelle, Ty, Roots Manuva and Blak Twang as some of his favourite local artists, but refers to an overall sense of the UK scene as being “real goonish right now,” judging from what he’s seen online.
“Goonish rap for the sake of being goonish, it comes off real cartoon-ish…” he states. “I saw some stuff that just came across as, like, ‘You don’t even have to try that hard, dude’,” recalling a time S.A.S “ran up on” him outside the BBC in the past.
In-between recording and shooting a music video in London, Kweli spoke to SoulCulture TV about his displeasure at the gig of the night before, his experiences of the UK’s Capital and why he chose to shoot a video here for a song from his new album, Gutter Rainbows.
He also discusses how he perceives his growth across albums and another album he is also working on titled Prisoners Of Conscious, describing the forthcoming Gutter Rainbows project as “like the early outtakes of Prisoners Of Conscious, but embellished upon.”
He names some of his favourite self-penned verses as those from “Respiration” [from 1998 classic, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star] and “Lonely People” [from his The Beautiful Mix CD featuring LaToiya Williams] – adding, “Without trying to sound arrogant, I feel like I always get better as a writer…
“There’s some fans who would disagree with me – because they came of age when they got …Black Star or Train Of Thought and, as far as they’re concerned, nothing will top that that I ever do. They’re mistaken - but I can understand how they feel that way. I’m a way better writer now than I was back then.”
Interviewed by Peter Mundley, Filmed, Photographed and Edited by Jack Mcloughlin, Neil Raja and Nirja Raam for SoulCulture TV.