Reflection Eternal

Reflection Eternal

5.0 12
by Talib Kweli

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As one half of the conscious rap duo Black Star, Talib Kweli has emerged as one of hip-hop's brightest new stars. And on Reflection Eternal, with the assistance of DJ Hi Tek, Kweli continues to give the lifeless body of mainstream rap a much-needed transfusion with his thought-provoking lyrics. You won't find any frat-boy anthems or gangsta metaphors here.


As one half of the conscious rap duo Black Star, Talib Kweli has emerged as one of hip-hop's brightest new stars. And on Reflection Eternal, with the assistance of DJ Hi Tek, Kweli continues to give the lifeless body of mainstream rap a much-needed transfusion with his thought-provoking lyrics. You won't find any frat-boy anthems or gangsta metaphors here. Reflection Eternal is a soundtrack for inner-city rage. On "Move Something," Kweli forewarns plastic rappers that he will "break y'all spirit if y'all fake that realness" over Hi-Tek's militant horns, while his Black Star partner in rhyme Mos Def lends support on the orchestral battle cry "This Means You." Guest spots from old-schoolers De La Soul on the guitar-funky "Soul Rebels," sultry French duo Les Nubians on "Love Language," and nasty man Rick James on the playful chorus of "Touch Me" add new dimensions to Kweli's underground sound. With a splendid blend of inventive production and street-credible yet intellectually rousing rhymes, Reflection Eternal gives listeners a lot to ponder. Ryan Crosby

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Conaway
After releasing a handful of essential 12"s on various Rawkus Records projects in the late '90s, Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek were on the verge of becoming one of hip-hop's best-kept secrets. Yet their original incarnation as a duo expanded into a triumvirate with the inclusion of Mos Def and transformed their eventual manifestation into Black Star, thwarting their initial bid for acclaim. While Kweli's stardom may have been initially eclipsed by his more charismatic cohort, Mos Def, Reflection Eternal houses enough merit to establish Talib as one of this generation's most poetic MCs. Kweli is a rare MC, as his lyricism resounds with a knowledge that transcends his still tender age. He does not aspire to reprogram the masses with this album, just rehabilitate them, as he laments on "The Blast": "They ask me what I'm writing for/I'm writing to show you what we fighting for." In an effort to celebrate life, Kweli breaks down hip-hop's obsession with death on "Good Mourning" and "Too Late." But it is his varied lyrical content that is most inspiring, effortlessly transitioning from the poignant circle-of-life epic "For Women" to the rugged "Some Kind of Wonderful" and "Down for the Count," featuring Rah Digga and Xzibit. While the unassuming, largely minimalist grooves that Hi-Tek supplied on Black Star's debut longed for a dramatic flair, he displays a remarkable maturation on Reflection Eternal. In fact, Tek's loping keyboard wails, soulful staccato claps, and shimmering piano loops are often sublime in their arrangement and outcome. Though Kweli and Hi-Tek's debut harbors over-ambitious tendencies, clocking in at over 70 minutes in length, they are a duo that will undoubtedly stain their memory into hip-hop's collective memory with this noteworthy debut. Welcome to the new generation of Native Tongue speaking.

Product Details

Release Date:
Rawkus / Umgd


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Talib Kweli   Primary Artist,Vocals
Weldon Irvine   Keyboards
Tracie   Background Vocals
Owen Brown   Fiddle
De La Soul   Track Performer
Derrick Gardner   Trumpet
Kool G Rap   Track Performer
Teodross Avery   Saxophone
Vinia Mojica   Vocals
Nubians   Track Performer
Xzibit   Track Performer
Mos Def   Track Performer
Monique Walker   Background Vocals
Rah Digga   Track Performer
Bassi Kolo Percussion Group   Percussion
Big Del   Background Vocals
Darcel   Background Vocals
Donte   Background Vocals
Katushia   Background Vocals
Little Tone   Background Vocals
Neb Luv   Background Vocals
Nonye   Vocals
Tiye Phoenix   Vocals,Background Vocals
Kendra Ross   Vocals,Background Vocals
Imani Uzuri   Background Vocals
Tiyi Willingham   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Rick James   Producer
DJ Hi-Tek   Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer
Weldon Irvine   Producer
Troy Hightower   Engineer
Guy Snider   Engineer
Talib Kweli   Producer,Executive Producer
Rikki Stein   Liner Notes
Crossfader Chris   Cut
Dave Dar   Engineer
Jerome Lagarrigue   Illustrations,Cover Illustration
Imani Uzuri   Vocal Arrangements

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Reflection Eternal 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is OFF THE PLANET!!!! I've been waiting for this. It does'nt disappoint. Lyrically, Kweli is deeper than anyone out there. Sorry, Mos Def. High-Tek does a superb job bringing the Music. GET THIS ALBUM NOW!!!! Don't delay. NOW!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Talib is a gifted mc who has the ability to relay quality concepts to modern beats. I consider his style urban poetry. If you ''felt'' Black Star's album, then this is a long awaited album that you were ready for back then. Guess will not be disappointed. There is alot of phat beats and tight rythmes. Congrats to High Tek for providing fresh sounds and to Talib for his quality lyrics. Yo & Mos gotta come out with another album! Peace...Arnold from the Ironbound in Newark, NJ
Guest More than 1 year ago
DJ Hi-Tek and Talib Kweli¿s triumphant debut, Train of Thought, transcends time, space, and perceptive construct. DJ Hi-Tek demands that the listener recall a time when the DJ was the star and center of attention; creating a sound rivaled only by the likes of DJs Premier and Pete Rock. Talib Kweli, the duo¿s aware and revolutionary wordsmith, reminds us why artists such as Rakim, G. Rap, and KRS-One were necessary in the evolution of lyricism in order for hip-hop to gain the respect that it deserved. Reflection Eternal: Train of Thought, when it all boils down to it, consists of twenty tracks of hip-hop perfection. Any musical effort that begins with accolades from the Honorable Nelson Mandela says it all. Beginning with the head-nodding, party-rocking single ¿Move Something,¿ Kweli lets you know that although he is a battle emcee¿s emcee, he can also freak it and make you break out of chillout mode. ¿Memories Live¿ makes any child of the 70¿s recall a time when life was more sane while ¿Love Language¿ reminds us what love¿s really all about and ¿Soul Rebels¿ exhibit that the conscious can deliver lyrical concussions faster than the average Schmoe. The album has it all from legends: De La Soul and Kool G. Rap; to true Soul musicians: Vinia Mojica and Les Nubians; to new school raw: Rah Digga, Xzibit, Big Del, and Tiye Phoenix; to his one-and-only PNC, Mos Def. But in all honesty, with the formula¿s only variables being Kweli and Hi-Tek, the album would still amount to ¿classical¿ music. At a time when trash-rap is at its zenith, Reflection Eternal is a breath of fresh air for hip-hop heads and music lovers, in general, everywhere. On ¿Africa Dream,¿ Kweli spits: ¿These cats drink Champaign/ to toast death and pain/ like slaves on a ship talkin¿ `bout who got the flyest chain¿.¿ Swallow that Eminem and Cash Money Millionaire fans¿.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this cd everything is perfect it will not dissapoint you the listener.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a true hip hop classic. ''Love Language'' really explains relationships today and ''Good Mourning'' sends a very riveting message. This CD fed my mind and soul which a lot of hip hop has not done lately. Tracks like ''Memories Live'' takes a listener back in time and ''For Women'' is a real tribute to all kinds of women. Talib also reminds us what is important in hip-hop--true lyrical ability not about who has had the worst life or who is the craziest with lines like ''you'll see that this microphone/is no place to work out your self esteem issues/ do that ish when you alone.'' Hi-Tek's production is also equally great on this CD.This is a must have a must have for anyone who love REAL hip-hop.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this album is simply incredible
Guest More than 1 year ago
A breath of fresh air!!! There sound is unbelievable. You can feel this sound. Rap with a meaning is back!! Nice jazzy toons and fresh samples. Ya'll go boy!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Known mostly as ''the other half'' of Black Star, Talib Kweli first emerged into the public eye in 1998 on said groundbreaking album with Mos Def. The main producer was little-known Tony Cottrell, aka DJ Hi-Tek, who demonstrated a mostly understated skill at the production boards. Kweli exhibited obvious lyrical skill as well as masterfully manipulating similes, yet was somewhat overmatched by Mos Def [transforming/from rookie of the year/to veteran (Twice Inna Lifetime)]. A year later, on Mos' solo project, Kweli showed up on the party-starter anthem ''Know That,'' showing skill to match Mos on his album. With the 2000 release of Reflection Eternal's ''Train of Thought'' Kweli rhymes over Hi-Tek's slamming beats to create a masterful album with club gems like ''Ghetto Afterlife'' and ''Some Kind of Wonderful'' as well as lower-key hits like ''Africa Dream'' and ''Memories Live.'' Several guest stars make cameos like De La Soul, Xzibit & Rah Digga, Les Nubians, plus Mos Def on ''This Means You.'' When it comes right down to it, the first-class production and socially conscious flow make ''Train of Thought'' the number one album of the year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
talib kweli is a classical example of a focused mc. hi tek is the beats man of the century.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this record. It rarely leaves my CD player. Fresh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Certainly one of the last truly great hip-hop albums and one of the greatest albums of all time in the genre, Train of Thought is a classic and then some. From start to finish every song tells a story and the production is incredible. This album definitely makes the short list of best hip hop albums of all time - I put it right up there with Water for Chocolate (Common), Stakes is High (De La), Late Registration (Kanye), Reaonable Doubt (Jay Z).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago