Quality

Quality

4.7 9
by Talib Kweli
     
 

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On his first full-length without longtime collaborator DJ Hi-Tek, Brooklyn's Talib Kweli expands the boundaries of his sound while staying true to his indie hip-hop roots. "This ain't commercial or underground/It's just true," he proclaims on the R&B-flavored joint "Good to You," and the rapper backs up this statement throughout the eclectic Quality. Tracks

Overview

On his first full-length without longtime collaborator DJ Hi-Tek, Brooklyn's Talib Kweli expands the boundaries of his sound while staying true to his indie hip-hop roots. "This ain't commercial or underground/It's just true," he proclaims on the R&B-flavored joint "Good to You," and the rapper backs up this statement throughout the eclectic Quality. Tracks such as "Gun Music," featuring the Cocoa Brovaz, and "Guerrilla Monsoon" (a clever take on the name of wrestler Gorilla Monsoon), featuring Black Thought of the Roots and Rawkus labelmate Pharoahe Monch, recall the battle-ready Kweli who climbed from the trenches of New York City's underground hip-hop scene in the mid-'90s. Meanwhile, on the politically powered "The Proud" and the parenthood celebration "Joy," featuring his Black Star partner-in-rhyme Mos Def, Kweli sounds more like the socially conscious rapper fans know and love from Black Star and Reflection Eternal with Hi-Tek. Switching gears once again, the more radio-friendly "Waitin' for the DJ," featuring neo-soul man Bilal, and the slow jam "Won't You Stay," featuring talented newcomer Kendra Ross, could help Kweli achieve the commercial success he greatly deserves. And with production by sound wizards the Soulquarians (Common), DJ Quik (Truth Hurts), Kayne West (Jay-Z), and Jay Dee (Slum Village), this might be the vehicle to allow New York's real top dog/underdog to shine.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
While his erstwhile Black Star mate Mos Def concentrated on his acting career, Talib Kweli set about crafting a truly solo follow-up to his acclaimed debut, Reflection Eternal, this time with a variety of producers in place of partner DJ Hi-Tek. The excellent Quality only ups the ante, building on its predecessor's clear-minded focus with greater scope and a more colorful musical palette. Right off the bat, it's apparent that Kweli has traded his old-school minimalism for a warmer, richer sound -- complete with some live instrumentation -- that's immediately inviting and accessible. The opening trio of songs -- "Rush," "Get By," and "Shock Body" -- ranks among the most exciting music he's recorded, and the album only branches out from there. Kweli can pull off genial, good-time hip-hop like lead single "Waitin' for the DJ" and the DJ Quik-produced "Put It in the Air," and follow it with the blistering (and incisive) political fury of "The Proud." He reflects on his image as a so-called conscious rapper on "Good to You," and pushes its boundaries on the Cocoa Brovaz collaboration "Gun Music," where he twists the lyrical conventions of dancehall reggae to his own ends. Pharoahe Monch and the Roots' Black Thought put in exciting guest spots on "Guerrilla Monsoon Rap," and Mos Def appears on "Joy," where Kweli manages to describe the births of his two children without getting self-indulgent. A couple of the mellow R&B jams do get a little too mellow for their own good, drifting along and slowing the album's otherwise consistent momentum. Nonetheless, nearly everything Kweli tries works, and the array of producers keeps things unpredictable. Quality is proof that intelligent hip-hop need not lack excitement, soul, or genuine emotion; it's one of the best rap albums of a year with no shortage of winners.
Rolling Stone - Jon Caramanica
On his first proper solo album, Kweli smoothly bridges the physical with the political.
Vibe
1/2 On his luminous solo debut, Kweli makes it clear that he cares about his music, his family, and his community. Elizabeth Mendez Berry

Product Details

Release Date:
11/19/2002
Label:
Rawkus / Umgd
UPC:
0008811304829
catalogNumber:
113048

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Talib Kweli   Primary Artist
Samuel James   Background Vocals
Pino Palladino   Bass
James Poyser   Keyboards
Doug Wimbish   Bass
Teodross Avery   Saxophone
Xzibit   Vocals
Savion Glover   Taps
Duane Eubanks   Trumpet
Kendra Ross   Background Vocals
Tiffany Phinazee   Vocals
Vernetta Bobien   Background Vocals
Abby Dobson   Background Vocals
Chinua Hawk   Background Vocals
Aisha Mike   Vocals

Technical Credits

Geoff Allen   Engineer
DJ Quik   Producer
Robin Hill   Sample Clearance
DJ Scratch   Producer
Talib Kweli   Arranger,Producer,Executive Producer
Dahoud Darien   Producer
Kanye West   Producer
Ayatollah   Producer
Dave Dar   Engineer
Eric Krasno   Producer
Soulquarians   Producer
Megahertz   Producer
Corey Smyth   Executive Producer
Supa Dave West   Producer
J Dilla   Producer

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Quality 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another fantastic album by Kweli, who kicks something for everyone. He gets you dancing or he gets in your head. Get By, Rush, Joy are best tracks. Arrangement is perhaps the only weakness.
Guest More than 1 year ago
kweli is the # 1 m.c. out there without a doubt, lyrically gifted, educated m.c. that can flip it in any format. other m.c.'s cannot test.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Talib Kweli is incredibly amazing, not only lyrically but intellectually. The introductory trio of "Rush", "Get By", and "Shock Body" contain quite possibly some of the best rhymes I have ever heard. And it's not only about the rhymes but what he rhymes ABOUT. Other notable tracks are, "Guerrilla Monsoon Rap", "Gun Music", "Joy" and "The Proud". Also his radio-friendly singles are enough to earn this a four and a half star rating. Some of the tracks get a bit too mellow and shift the mood of the CD but ultimately Kweli's first solo effort is a huge success and is a definite must have. Quality isn't a perfect LP but it ranks up there with the best in Hip Hop today and for the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album deserves every bit of 5 stars. Not only is kweli lyrically at his best but the production is hot. I feel like he did collaborations on all the appropiate songs and vice versa. He manages to spit political, concerned, cocky, etc. but always stays honest. This is one of the top 4 rap albums of the year. So you better get wit' it or stand to the side.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of the 14 songs, only one is a "skipper." A slow love song in the middle of the album takes some wind out of Kweli's storm, but the momentum picks up right after that. This is an outstanding effort, album of the year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i was just a talib's concert he was so hype hes album quality is really good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One word to describe this album: beautiful. Kweli is a true poet. I disagree about the slow numbers too-I think "Where do we go" is one of the best tracks.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a quality CD. Talib attacks every subject and does it well. Other artists are feeding into his leadership in the game. He is getting a lot of respect along the way. Every song on this CD is dope!