Rapper and Album of the Year

ghettoManga's 2008 Rapper of the Year, Talib Kweli speaks with Hardknock TV.
veteran brooklyn emcee Talib Kweli had a reality check. as much as he would like to do records with his buddies Mos Def and deejay Hi-Tek, he hasn't been able to make it happen for a long time, and a brotha got bills. so, the non-Mos half of BlackStar decided to get his mogul on. in addition to droppin' a couple nice records, Kweli has started Blacksmith, his indie rap label (with such noteworthy overgrounders as Jean Grae and StrongArmSteady), continued to litter the digital countryside with mixtapes and generate hit singles. Kweli is a fixture in the true-school hipHop community, doing guest shots for rappers and neo-soul artists.

Kweli's Eardrum
is the ghettoManga Album of the Year for 2008...
it's a nice record. a few joints ("Hostile Gospel [deliver us]", "Give 'Em Hell", "In The Mood", "Eat To Live", and "Country Cousins") stand out at the moment. in what his press release called a "career defining album" with "hard hitting beats and inventive rhymes that serve to not only entertain, but also to educate" Kweli held up his end of it, dropping a nice, classic record. while Mos is conspicuously absent, Hi-Tek and a slew of other guests keep the balance, well BALANCED!

i like Kweli, and this record is what i've come to expect from him. step in the right direction for an artist who constantly insists he is not a solo artist. instead, Kweli insists he is "a frontman for a group of artists, lovers, poets and regular everyday folk" that make up his body of work... As a person who believes that most of today's solo hip hop artists belong in groups not on their own, i applaud Kweli's attitude... and as long as Kweli is unable to get together with co-conspirators like Mos and Tek, records like this one will do in a pinch.
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