I was sitting in my Media-Management class yesterday and we were talking about the snob effect. Our teacher told a story from back in the day, when the song “Losing my Religion” by R.E.M came out. (REM are dope by the way) He said he loved that song and wanted to tell everybody else about it. There was this girl in his class, who has been a huge R.E.M fan for years, and when he told her how much he likes this song, she said she hated it… just for the fact that he liked it so much.
This is kinda what I spotted in the Hip Hop scene. It is cool to like something, as long as just a few people know it. It becomes kinda uncool to like things everybody likes, mabye because people are trying to be indivdual, I don’t know. But I can’t just unnderstand it.
My prime example for the Snob-Effect is Talib Kweli. Back in the Black Star and Refection Eternal days the Underground Heads were totally in love with him. I mean, Black Star and Train of Thought are 2 classics in Hip Hop History, no doubt. I think the first time I heard him was, when I copped the Reflection Eternal album, it was the album of the Month in a Hip Hop magazine and I got it shortly after christmas. I put it in the cd player and started playing some Madden 2001. The CD sounded kinda magic to me, no incredible bangers on the first listen, but the whole thing was totally different and dope. It developed to be one of my very favortie albums over the years. But I don’t like it because it wasn’t so popular when it came out. I like it because Kweli got dope lyrics and Hi-Tek delivered some great beats. Same with the next album, “quality” (I’m still wondering why he didn’t call it “Kwelity”) Dope lyrics, mostly dope beats, but somehow many people started saying he fell off, and it continued with Beautiful Struggle and Eardrum, Kweli’s lyrics ans themes are just as strong as they were back in 2000, the selection of the beats kinda changed, but who would want to have beats that sound exactly like on Train of Thought, I mean, I don’t. I kinda have the feeling that people were hating because they were more and more people who liked him. I mean, even if you talked to an average person, with an average music taste, this person mostly knew him. I hate haters, cause there hate mostly ain’t really reasonable. They just love to hate. Those people must have a really boring life, I mean, I have a lot of fun, basically because I can enjoy Underground and Mainstream stuff, I don’t limit myself. I’m laughing about shit other people don’t think is funny, but I don’t care cause I got a fun life! Back to the topic…
Let’s take a look at Beautiful Struggle, I mean, I love the album, there are 2 or 3 tracks that I usually skip, because I hate the beat, but the rest is just pure dopeness. He covers many themes and has a really versatile choice of beats, which is dope in my eyes! And what I really acknowledge, is the fact that he always got High Class videos! I mean they are really creative, he never had half naked video chicks running around and I’m sure he never will! On Eardum I can’t even identify a bad track, I like all the beats and all the lyrics, that’s why it is my album of the year. I mean, he got Pete Rock, Madlib (not the biggest fan of him but on this album his beats are dope), Just Blaze and Will.I.AM, who wants to complain about that? Will i am is always making dope beats if they aren’t for the BEP or himself, lol.
And who else can feature Norah Jones, Justin Timberlake and Kanye West without losing his credibility? (I like all of em) I don’t know if you hear the story about the thing with Justin Timberlake, so I will tell it real quick. Kweli met justin on a trip to Africa that Cameron Diaz organized and MTV filmed. I will qoute Kweli from an entry in his forum: “It was one of the most uplifting experiences I ever had, even though I was the only black person. Shouts out to Justin, Cameron, Jimmy Fallon and the film crew for taking 2 weeks out of hectic schedules to go to Tanzania for free and do REAL humanitarian work, not the bullshit abstract shit the starter of this post is talking about. I had been to Africa twice before, once with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and once with Le Nubiannes, but this was the Serenghetti, where we lived in tents amongst the lions cheetahs and hippos. You get to know people like that, and Justin was real cool. I liked a couple of records on justified, but I was not an NSync fan. He knew all about Reflection Eternal, put me up on Jeff Buckley, and I put him up on the Supernatural. 2 years later, we were working in the same studio, and he gave me a blueprint for the Nature, which he said was not making the album, but he still wanted to do something with it. I took it and made the best of it I could. I was not going to release the song until my album was leaked 2 months early. I felt as if I owed the consumer who was purchasing some bonus cuts, in case they already heard it.” People always wanna see the worst case, they say he did a track with Justin just to boost the sales, but if you think about it, isn’t any feature guest kind of a try to boost sales, like a feature of Masta Ace on a track of somebody pretty unknown, isn’t it the same intention? You just hope that the fans of the feature guest will buy the album too. Or is it the fact that you hung out together and you were vibing and just came up with the idea to do a track together? You can never tell, but both options are reasonable…
I think Kweli’s progress was really right! Building up his own label to do whatever he wants, trying to support oother artists that he likes and giving them a chance to be heard. Eardrum really seems to be his “I don’t give a fuck album”. I do what i wanna do, cause that is what i like. I can do a track with Norah Jones on a Madlib beat, I can make a track with Justin Timberlake about what’s wrong in the world… He is REAL!
The Essence of what I wanna say is, you shouldn’t care about what other people say, if you like the T.I. joint, cop it! If everybody likes Kweli, maybe it has a reason, but don’t care about that, if you think it’s dope, cop it! If you don’t like it, don’t, but don’t say he sells out because he did a Track with Justin or something like that, actually blend out the fact that it’s justin on the track, just listen to the melody and the words, the track is dope!
Please do me the favor and think about it! There
is always a progress in music, if everything sounded like 94 today, you would complain that there is no change. Now you miss this time, but just pull out your OC album, your Big L album or your Jeru album an you are back in 94… There is really no problem. And if you got the right does go back to 2008 and bump the new Kweli, bump the Blue Scholars Joint, bump Strange Fruit Project, or bump T.I or Justin Timberlake, cause it’s good music!
To close this up I will post a short video journey through Kweli’s carreer.
Much love, as always, thanks for listening (reading), cause that is really rare today, people refuse to listen, cause they are “deaf”…
Never been in love before
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