Talib Kweli has never been afraid of hard work. In his quest to keep creative autonomy, he’s had to face down the record industry, fight racist trolls online, and, most recently, call out people he believes are culture vultures. Still, it seems like a pretty rewarding (often adventurous) path to walk when we hop on the phone for an interview, with the rapper phoning from an undisclosed location in Amsterdam — on the road with Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Yasiin Bey.
Over the course of a 30-minute conversation, our first, it becomes clear to me that Kweli is more than just the host of People’s Party with Talib Kweli (produced by Uproxx and Luminary), more than a solo MC, and more than one-half of the beloved duo Black Star. What he represents to me by the end of our call is a Black man trying to create on his own terms in a world that appears to be heavily at odds with both Black men and the creative class.