A Few Questions For Talib Kweli

I met up with Talib Kweli after his show last Saturday. After Hayden Durki, a 12-year old emcee from Montpellier, rocked the backstage room, I was able to ask the God a few questions. His new record, The Beautiful Struggle, comes out this week.

VC: Where do you see rap music in ten years?

TK: Wherever the people go.

VC: How do you feel you’ve developed as an artist with this record as compared to previous records?

TK: I’ve learned to be more honest- letting the beats write the songs instead of trying to apply songs to beats.

VC: Will you make another Blackstar record with Mos Def?

TK: Sure.

VC: How do you feel underground rap music can express itself with the loss of such underground labels as Rawkus?

TK: I think the fans and the artists have to take more control of their music…I mean, you may not see big numbers being sold but the records will be more personal.

VC: What are you listening to right now?

TK: Jill Scott, Young Buck, Mobb Deep, Cee’lo.

VC: Do you vote?

TK: No.

VC: If not through politics, how would you advocate change in issues such as police brutality or youth violence?

TK: I think politics at it’s heart is a lie. If something is politically correct, that means a majority of people think it’s okay. It has nothing to do with what is really right or wrong. And so what you get is politicians who are willing to lie, and do stuff that they know is wrong, just to be a career politician. On a community level, like school boards, community groups, and city councils, people still have roots in the community. They are people who the community has demanded leadership from.

VC: How is the new label after Rawkus?

TK: It’s pretty bad. But because of the good work that Rawkus did for me, I’m at a point that I don’t have to depend on the label. My profile would be a lot higher if [Geffen Records] was on its job, but… its good. I’m in a better situation that I was in last year, and next year I’ll be in a better position than I am now.

VC: Has becoming a father influenced your music?

TK: Not my music, but my business.

VC: Is there anyone you have not worked with, but that you would like to work with in the future?

TK: Bjork.