Published Jul 21, 2010Even before Talib Kweli unveiled his track with Gucci Mane, the politically minded rapper was already getting defensive about the collaboration, and tweeted, "Just met @guccimaine. Cool dude. Don't be mad when we do a record. #waitforthehate." Sure enough, a writer posted a blog on TheLoop21.com, saying that the collaboration signified the death of conscious rap. Now, Kweli has fired back with a lengthy reply, defending his actions and condemning the critics.
In Kweli's retort, also posted on TheLoop21.com [via Prefix], he claimed, "I am a man and an artist of the people. When I say that, I do not just mean people I agree with, people who understand me or people I can relate to. I mean the people in the truest sense of the term. This philosophy, although professed by many intellectuals, is lost on them. They would rather judge the masses as a foolish body, greatly in need of their intellectual musings."
The implication, of course, is that the Loop writer - and anyone else who dares to criticize the collaboration - is one of the intellectuals, out of touch with the "people." According to Kweli, this writer and his fellow critics "believe not liking Gucci Mane makes them intellectually superior."
As proof of his ongoing commitment to social and political causes, Kweli gave the following breakdown of his week: "The week the Gucci/Kweli record leaked, I performed at the Lupus fundraiser for the J Dilla Foundation, and also recorded a PSA about SB 1070. I performed with the Roots, Blitz the Ambassador, Bajah and the Dry Eye Crew at Prospect Park for Okay Africa. My kids were with me. I also performed at the Duck Down 15th anniversary party, and I recorded a song about the Age of Enlightenment to help NYC high school kids pass the regents for Fresh Prep." What's more, his upcoming album will called Prisoner of Conscious.
He also defended Gucci Mane's music, saying, "I'm sorry it makes your head explode that I actually might enjoy Gucci's music, but I do. I didn't do it for money, I did it because I wanted to. He is a dynamic artist that is serving his fan base well."
The entire post is just under 1,300 words, and it has some interesting musings on music criticism and the nature of celebrity. Read the whole thing here.