Talib Kweli Quotes

You see somebody rapping and you're like "Nah my cousin can do that." You're spoiled by the experience. Overseas it's still something that people can appreciate.

Hopefully we learn to appreciate hip-hop here so that it doesn't go the way of jazz.

I gotta be dope first. I gotta be appealing to your senses and to what you like first. Then the message happens. Then you relate to the message.

You have to know when to be arrogant. You have to when to be humble. You have to know when to be hard and you have to know when to be soft.

When I look at the arc of my career my focus is on lyricism right? I own that.

We speak the love language they speak from pain and anguish. Some don't love theyselves so they perception is tainted.

You make knowledge relevant to life and you make it important for children to learn things that will really relate to things going on in their lives and not abstract.

I ignored your aura but it grabbed me by the hand like the moon pulled the tide and the tide pulled the sand.

The beautiful thing about hip-hop is it's like an audio collage. You can take any form of music and do it in a hip-hop way and it'll be a hip-hop song. That's the only music you can do that with.

When I met you it was magic... We polar opposites but attracted like we was magnets.

They ask me what I'm writing for - I'm writing to show you what we're fighting for.

Being called 'conscious' is a great thing to be but it's the connotations and preconceived notions that come with the buying audience about what conscious music can be.

I think that I am seeing the Internet and seeing technology take and seeing how the work I do through music directly affects people's lives better than any politician I've ever met.

There's a lot of activism that doesn't deal with empowerment and you have to empower yourself in order to be relevant to any type of struggle.

You know there's a lot of activism that doesn't deal with empowerment and you have to empower yourself in order to be relevant to any type of struggle.

I'm at a loss for words. But even my loss is amplified.

The problem with our role is Americans live in a world of illusion.

If you look at my career doing albums with Norah Jones Justin Timberlake Gucci Mane and Lil Wayne or KRS-One and Jean Grae I can't be pigeonholed.

People consider Black Star a great album and I think it's a classic album. But the fact is both me and Mos Def have made better albums since Black Star.

What is Norah Jones' style? Is it just the albums that we've heard? She has a rock group where she plays guitar in downtown in New York so do we really know her style?

We get high on all types of drugs when all you really need is Love

I look at the deejay thing as something - I'm good at it because I have my own music. I have enough rhythm to blend at this point.

Love is blind you just see bright light

The most important time in history is - NOW - the present So count your blessings cause time can't define the essence.

Nowadays rap artists coming half-hearted Commercial like pop or underground like black markets. Where were you the day hip-hop died? Is it too early to mourn? Is it too late to ride?

If you ain't using all the talents God provided you with For the betterment of Man understand You ain't nothing but a waste.

I'd like to work with Outkast I'd like to work with RZA I'd like to work with Timbaland York a whole bunch of people.

My parents are my biggest influences. My parents and my city. Brooklyn New York New York City the community I grew up. I don't feel like I'm special in that. I feel like that's everybody.

I was kind of just too lazy to take my money out of the bank until I saw how Citi Bank responded to Occupy Wall Street.

When you shine bright some won't enjoy the shadow you cast.

The responsibility of an artist is to be honest with themselves.

I think music sharing of any kind is great.

People can be inspired the way I've been inspired by music.

Even an independent label is looking for a hit they're not looking for a record that's not gonna do well.

I met Mos Def around that time but I didn't hook up with him until I was about 17 or 18.

But you have to be creative on how you sell yourself and market yourself.

Life is a beautiful struggle..

You have to learn how to harness technology so you can use it for positive stuff without being disconnected from nature.

Being called a conscious rapper is quite a compliment. It's a great thing to be. But as an artist my nature is to not be in a box.

So I think hip-hop is moving and is going to continue to move in the direction of rappers just being honest with themselves whether you're talking about Common and Mos Def or Nas and 50 cent.

I'm not looking to set a standard... but I believe I have offered a challenge to others with my work.

That's what hip-hop is: It's sociology and English put to a beat you know.

It's very seductive to focus on what you don't like as opposed to celebrating all that it is that you do.

If I'm performing with a DJ it's all on me to draw the energy. I like the camaraderie of a band.

Well if somebody's giving me a script I'll consider it. But it's not something I'm chasing.

But there's so many things in life like women like children like God and family that transcends the world of hip-hop.

I think people are into me because of my music choices and my musicality.

As an artist I have to be a leader of my fans not like follow them. Because if I chose to follow them you know they could do it.

If you go to a college campus and you do stop and frisk you're going to find a lot of drugs there too.

War is not civilized.

You can have your own opinion but not your own facts.

My rhymes are like shot clocks interstate cops and blood clots my point is your flow gets stopped.

Just because no one can understand how you speak Don't necessarily mean that what you be sayin is deep.

I don't feel comfortable making empty music.

And you know art as commerce doesn't really make too much sense they don't go together.

Truthfully I wanna rhyme like common senseNext best thing I do a record with common sense

I not only wanted to showcase lyrical skills but also continue to drop knowledge on the hiphop community. I'm looking to elevate through my music and through my music I educate.

We commute to computers; Spirits stay mute while you eagles spread rumors. We survivalists turned to consumers...

I look at the deejay thing as a tier thing. If I'm not going to compete on that level I'm just going to do it as a hobby.

Woman are complex creatures.

Hip-hop isn't as complex as a woman is.

Once you're signed to a label you compromise.

Just because someone has great content doesn't mean you like them as a rapper.

You gotta get back to your essence Use your gifts and share your presence Don't count your dollars 'til you count your blessings.

Coltrane had a sax Dale Earnhardt drives a race car and everybody has their tools.

Who you? Your name smaller than fine grains in couscous It's the highest calibre your calibre is deuce deuce

Or is it the mind state that's ill creating crime rates to fill the new prisons the build

I don't think that early hip hop stood out to be a social critique. A lot of fans of mine think that hip hop's ultimate responsibility is to critique social structures.

I have a luxury of people coming to see me whether I play for the crowd or not. I don't take that lightly.

Why give you the cure when the disease makes money?

Do the math: You never settle for less than the whole if you knew the half.

Skip the religion and politics head straight to the compassion. Everything else is a distraction.

But it becomes disrespectful when the artist's process is not respected.

You gotta eat right you gotta have healthy habits you know and balance out your decadence with a healthy lifestyle during the day.

The way I see it if people truly love my music they will support me in some way down the road.

I don't care if Rick Ross is 40 years old -- he's a misguided 40-year-old person.

Music is not an exact science so depending on the time and the mode and the energy when we do it that will determine what happens with it.

A true artist does not depend on radio for success. A true fan does not let radio determine what they support

Life without knowledge is death in disguise.

I think hip hop is a dance music that's rebellious by nature.

Everybody could write deejay rap. Everybody could do it all.

I have such respect for the art of deejaying. I hesitate to even call myself a deejay.

We're in an illusion about what our role is in world politics and foreign affairs and our policies are killing and destroying and doing a lot of things that we are not aware of.

Ain't nobody making music to not be heard and the easiest way to be heard is to be on the radio but you should never compromise who you are your values or your morals.

I not only wanted to showcase lyrical skills but also continue to drop knowledge on the hiphop community. Im looking to elevate through my music and through my music I educate.

Consider me the entity within the industry without a history of spitting the epitome of stupidity.

Hi-Tek is on three or four songs on the new record.

Fortunately artists can live off their works if you're creative at how you do it. If you just depend on the videos and the radio you're at a loss.

Hip hop is at its essence a folk music because it speaks the language that people are still speaking at ground zero it speaks the language that people speak on the streets.

A flower that grow in the ghetto know more about survival than the one from fresh meadows.

Things are fluid in this world and if you don't remain fluid you get lost in the sauce.

If lyrics sold then truth be told/I'd probably be just as rich and famous as Jay-Z.

I remember looking back on a photo of me... wearing a suit that was like two sizes too big for me. I think a lot of guys don't know what fits.

I think its man's nature to go to war and fight.

God gave us music so we play with our words.

Young kids should be doing music that has shock value. They'll grow out of it.

I am not a prisoner of conscious but people try to make me one sometimes. It is both a gift and a curse. It's a high honour but can create limitations - I have to be fluid.

Honestly you have to take care of yourself. That's probably something I have learned on the road.

Hip-hop is a vehicle.

My fans like to be romantic. I feel like I'm creating at least at the same level or even a higher level of creativity than I was at twenty-one. I've gotten better as an artist.

I listened to a mind joint and I wanted to do my own version of it and what you hear on my mixtape is my take on what the whole CD sounds like.

Let me finish my music and let me present it the way I want to present it. And then share it put it online do whatever you want to do after that.

I started rapping because I wanted people to hear what I have to say I want as many people to hear me as possible and I do everything in my power to make that pop.

I was always rhyming and doing it for the love before I found out I was gonna have children and when I found out doing it for the love wasn't enough.

There just needs to be a gay rapper who's better than everybody. That's when that question will no longer be able to be asked.

I will never do a record without some sense of responsibility.

I like the fact that I can rep New York but my style does not - I'm not trapped in a New York thing. I can do art songs with other artists and it's seamless.

There are staples to my show. I have to be conscious about switching things up because I know people who saw me last year will say 'He did that last time.' But if certain things work they work.