Talib Kweli & Mick Boogie MCEO

Talib Kweli & Mick Boogie MCEO
Even when Talib Kweli brings his b-game leftovers, he still manages to sound better than the majority of rappers. In fact, his mix-tapes are on par with his weaker major releases. On MCEO, he gets familiar with Mick Boogie for a decent offering of just one of his "Many Faces” (a track in which he raps: "The MCEO, battle my own ego”). And there’s plenty of ego here. On "Beautiful Struggle,” Talib said, "If lyrics sold, truth be told/I’d probably be just as rich and famous as Jay-Z.” When he wrote that, he probably had this mix-tape in the back of his mind. On "D’Evils 2008,” he revises a Hova classic, and on the rest of the album, he brings much of the same swagger as his flossy counterpart. There are a few giveaways to Jean Grae and other affiliates but for the most part, it’s the suited, blunt-smoking Talib that we scapegoat for "ruining” his middle-career LPs but secretly love. (Independent)