Talib Kweli’s new album, “Gutter Rainbows,” displays the great skill of the rapper turned Co-CEO of Blacksmith Entertainment. This album is not as underground as many of his albums have been, but is still not the commercial type of music that Kweli has never been interested in.
Kweli has always been revered for his phenomenal lyricism and continues to show off his skill. His great vocabulary and intelligence of politics and world issues, as well as his opinion with slang speak on all of the issues, works so well to explain his faith and his opinions on love, religion, politics, etc.
This album is definitely a bit more different than Kweli’s Black Star years, but includes a combination of hard, “gangsta” rap songs as well the true soulful songs that Kweli is known so well for.
Overall the album definitely had some flaws which included the hard raps that Kweli dropped. Though they did include great lyrics, they did not show Kweli for the true artist he really is; a true soulful artist, not a gangster rapper. Songs such as “Palooka” and “I’m on One” had hooks that were too drawn out or too flat in regards to the feel and allowing you to feel Kweli’s lyrics completely. They took away from the way Kweli just unleashes his lyrics when he can start off without being interrupted by elongated hooks.
On the other hand when there were soulful, gospel singers as the hook, it only added to the great lyricism and soulful expression of Kweli, creating that familiar feeling that will put a smile on your face the way Kweli always does with clever lyrics and emotion provoking soul.
For example “Cold Rain” is complemented with simple guitar, piano, drums and amazing gospel singers for the hook along with thoughtful lyrics.
“I do it for the families, citizens of humanity Emcee’s, endangered species like manatee I do it for the future of my children! The hope for the hopeless.”
It also features lyrics that show who he is and what he’s about, like in “So Low.”
“I always speak for the struggle my people still hurtin’ I'm a name brand I'm a product but I'm still a real person.”
He also never fails to put a smile on your face or produce a few laughs with clever lines such as “Some say its only eggheads that I cater to, but wait a few in order to make an omelet I gotta break a few," on the track “Wait for You.”
He also talks about relevant politics including his Muslim faith, the building of the mosque in New York and Quran burning in “Cold Rain” and expresses his philosophy on life to listeners through this album while getting a point across by telling stories in “Tater Tot”.
This album shows off the great talent of Kweli while also highlighting what makes him so great: the genuine, outstanding lyricism; the way he stays true to his underground roots, and the soulful vibe he always creates in his listeners.
In order to continue pleasing his crowd and displaying his skill, Talib Kweli is getting back to his classic self by reuniting with Mos Def and getting ready to release a new Black Star album in 2012.
Pictures from: http://thisissach.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Gutter-Rainbows-Deluxe-Edition.png