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Talib Kweli

It's hard to know whether Talib Kweli is giving up on the music industry because he's aware of the minimal value of label promotion for artists outside the top sales tier or because the breakup was mutual. Though Kweli arrived big — releasing an absolutely classic album as Black Star (with Mos Def) and one very good disc with Hi-Tek as Reflection Eternal, and then the amazing Kanye West-produced single "Get By" in 2002 — it's been sort of a mess since then, with good songs here and there mixed with mediocre beats and moments of awkward flow on Kweli's part. It seemed he might have lost it a bit as an MC. Kweli has had trouble finding his place between doing socio-political rap (dooming him to never sell another record) and adopting a harder, more commercial role (which no one would really find genuine). It seems doubtful that Kweli will be able to pin Mos Def down for another album — even though Black Star has performed live on and off. Last year's reunion of Reflection Eternal didn't sell at all, despite a few really great tracks like "Just Begun." Why not just keep it indie and see if that sticks?


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