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Talib Kweli Talks Artistry, Influences and His Start as an MC [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Talib Kweli isn’t just one of hip-hop’s premiere lyricists (just ask Jay Z), he might just be the hardest working MC in the game. Not only does he do nearly 300 shows a calendar year, he also lives up to his “MCEO” title by running his own independent label, Javotti Media, with a hands-on approach to every aspect of the business.

The rapper’s approach to art and the business of art focus on quantity and quality. Ever the prolific artist, he dropped two albums in 2013 alone. ‘Prisoner of Conscious’ and ‘Gravitas’ are both filled with the high-level lyricism, great beats, clever song concepts and cool collaborations we’ve come to expect from a Talib Kweli project.

For the latest installment of our Off the Record series, Kweli performs his Kanye West-produced hit ‘Get By,’ selections from ‘Prisoner …’ and ‘Gravitas,’ like ‘State of Grace,’ and ‘Turnt Up,’ and he and his band even surprised us with raucous cover of Iggy Pop and the Stooges’ ‘Search and Destroy.’

Find out what makes this accomplished Brooklyn MC tick in our exclusive interview above and watch Kweli and his incredible band rip through their live set by clicking the button below to see their performances.

NEXT: Watch Talib Kweli Perform 'Get By'

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