Talib Kweli Right About Now

Talib Kweli Right About Now
Talib Kweli never stopped being a hip-hop journalist whose reportage stayed as ghetto as graffiti, guns and gangs. He brought black power back to the people. Still, striving for mainstream love diluted the message and the messenger. Fans didn’t appreciate that. Right About Now is a mix-tape, not a classic album like Reflection Eternal/Train of Thought or Black Star. So cast off those impossible to reach expectations. This is quality Kweli, rekindling the raw. Dig his scathing socio-political songs? Be held captive by the truisms of a sleazy banger called “Drugs, Basketball & Rap,” featuring Planet Asia and Phil Da Agony. Every bar snaps from his tongue, as a bullet flees a gun, filling your ears with notions of how upward mobility is limited in the hood. And on the real, who else but Kweli could write a song for Lauryn Hill of the Fugees and convey how much we missed her (“Ms. Hill”). Mos Def even shows up on the pro-black, bourgeoisie bashing, throw-your-fists-in-the-air revolutionary song “Supreme Supreme.” Right About Now is urgent, poetic and passionate — everything haters say he forgot. (Koch)