The Beautiful Struggle [Clean Lyrics]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Something's not right when a high compliment -- one laid down on wax, no less! -- from a giant like Jay-Z doesn't set off a major sales spike. Such is the case with Talib Kweli, a phenomenal MC who has only flirted with mainstream acceptance, despite being admired by a host of harder-edged platinum artists. Rather than try to ride out that slow if steady momentum and see where it takes him, Kweli takes the power into his own hands and grabs for the brass ring. The Beautiful Struggle is far from a 180 for him, but it's just out of character enough to be awkward. Whether he's attempting to bridge the underground to the mainstream or simply pull away from the former, the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Something's not right when a high compliment -- one laid down on wax, no less! -- from a giant like Jay-Z doesn't set off a major sales spike. Such is the case with Talib Kweli, a phenomenal MC who has only flirted with mainstream acceptance, despite being admired by a host of harder-edged platinum artists. Rather than try to ride out that slow if steady momentum and see where it takes him, Kweli takes the power into his own hands and grabs for the brass ring. The Beautiful Struggle is far from a 180 for him, but it's just out of character enough to be awkward. Whether he's attempting to bridge the underground to the mainstream or simply pull away from the former, the results aren't wholly convincing. Not only is Kweli attempting to alter the way in which he's perceived through his own verses; he's also been keeping some unlikely company -- a superior prealbum mixtape featured guest spots from Fabolous, Styles P, and G-Unit addition Shawn Penn. More than once on this album, Kweli's as anxious to lose his backpacking image as a fourth grader at 3 p.m. On the title track, he declares, "They call me the political rapper even after I tell 'em I don't f*ck with politics, I don't even follow it." He stands no chance of losing that tag when a line like "the motherf*cking Democrats is acting like Republicans" is contained within the same verse. Plus, he always has and always will excel at depicting facets of interpersonal politics. As much as The Beautiful Struggle is likely to catch longtime fans off-guard and leave mainstream followers indifferent, Kweli's unexpected moves appear to have more to do with trying new things -- and possibly thwarting preconceived notions -- than desperation. Still, there's no denying that it misses a little more than it hits. [A clean version of the album was also made available.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/28/2004
  • Label: Rawkus / Umgd
  • UPC: 602498638217
  • Catalog Number: 000346302
  • Sales rank: 193,362

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Going Hard (3:50)
  2. 2 Back Up Offa Me (3:37)
  3. 3 Broken Glass (3:10)
  4. 4 We Know (3:44)
  5. 5 A Game (3:35)
  6. 6 I Try (4:25)
  7. 7 Around My Way - John Legend (4:47)
  8. 8 We Got the Beat - RES (3:19)
  9. 9 Work It Out (4:19)
  10. 10 Ghetto Show (4:47)
  11. 11 Black Girl Pain (5:03)
  12. 12 Never Been in Love (5:00)
  13. 13 Beautiful Struggle (4:04)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Talib Kweli Primary Artist, Rap
Dion Vocals
Mary J. Blige Vocals
Mark Batson Piano, Keyboards
Faith Evans Vocals
Anthony Hamilton Vocals
Common Rap
Pharrell Williams Vocals
Dave Young Orchestra Vocals
Alex Thomas Vocals
J.R. Keyboards
RES Vocals
John Legend Vocals
Yummy Bingham Vocals
Tiffany Mynon Vocals
Jamia Simone Nash Vocals
Glen Jeffries Guitar
Technical Credits
DJ Hi-Tek Audio Production
K.C. Ross Composer
C.J.P. Smyth Composer
A.P. Thompson Composer
Tom Brick Mastering
Mos Def Author
Talib Kweli Executive Producer
Brian Garten Engineer
The Neptunes Audio Production
Kanye West Producer
H. Charlemagne Composer
Just Blaze Producer
Corey Smyth Executive Producer
Supa Dave West Producer, Audio Production
Bruce Waynne Producer
Dirty Swift Producer
Antwan "Amadeus" Thompson Producer
Alan Mason Vocal Engineer
Charlemagne Audio Production
David Brown Engineer
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