It’s a Saturday, and Talib Kweli’s 12th studio album (sixth solo), Gravitas, has just dropped via KweliClub (stream via DJ Booth), his new direct-to-fans website. As I sat backstage for the first night of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ homecoming on the Heist tour, I asked Talib why he chose to come out on a Saturday as opposed to the regular Tuesday. He said that December 15 was two months after he fully decided to do this album.
His second of the year (Prisoner Of Conscious came out in April), Gravitas is much more personal to his story, beliefs and journey as an artist. “State Of Grace” addresses women not being able to relate to the hip-hop of today and slowly turning away from the genre, “The Wormhole” delivers his stance on the Illuminati (spoiler alert: he thinks y’all believers are odd) and “Colors Of You” is one of two love related songs that ends the album. It stood out when discussing that Gravitas was not for Macklemore’s fan base and that POC would be more suited. As he puts it in our interview, the former is for those who have Attack The Block, Gutter Rainbows and know him more than just “Get By.”
In SD’s third interview, we talked about meeting and bringing out Macklemore in July 2012 at The Crocodile in Seattle, translating his journey into Gravitas, having J. Dilla’s production on the album, why it took forever to get a collaboration with Raekwon (plus future work together), meeting Biggie and Tupac as a party promoter and more.
His history with Macklemore (0:09)
Why he chose to release two albums in a year (0:54)
Translating his life and journey into Gravitas (2:33)
Who POC is for vs. who Gravtias is for (4:45)
Using J. Dilla’s production on “Colors Of You” (5:47)
Why it took so long to get a Talib and Raekwon collaboration, briefly speaks on unreleased collab with RZA & Raekwon and says he has a verse on Rae’s F.I.L.A. (6:29)
His favorite Wu-Tang album and song (7:54)
Being a party promoter at The Tunnel in his young days and meeting Biggie and Tupac (8:45)