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Talib Kweli Mocks ‘Goonish Rap,’ Talks Two New Albums


When you think of “goon rap” — elements of hip-hop that celebrate ignorance, drug dealing and violence without any discernable message beyond exuding tough energy — Talib Kweli is certainly just about the last name to come to mind. In fact, his conscious style is in such opposition that he has spoken out against goons and their fake behavior. He particularly targeted British MCs that have tried to step to him in the past.

“Goonish rap for the sake of being goonish, it comes off real cartoon-ish … ” Kweli said, somehow still rhyming even during an interview. “I saw some stuff that just came across as, like, ‘You don’t even have to try that hard, dude.’” He then recalled an incident when U.K. rapper S.A.S approached him outside the BBC in a move to appear tough”

Either way, Kweli is forging ahead with his new album ‘Gutter Rainbows.’ He says the album came to fruition while he started working on another album titled ‘Prisoners of Conscious.’ He plays down ‘Gutter Rainbows’ calling it “like the early outtakes of ‘Prisoners of Conscious,’ but embellished upon.” Kweli guarantees fans of his older work that he has great things in store this time around.

“There’s some fans who would disagree with me, because they came of age when they got ‘Black Star’ or ‘Train of Thought’ and, as far as they’re concerned, nothing will top that that I ever do,” he said. “They’re mistaken — but I can understand how they feel that way. I’m a way better writer now than I was back then.”

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