Famous Quotes & Sayings

Talib Kweli Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Talib Kweli.

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Talib Kweli Quotes 2074958

I don't think that early hip hop stood out to be a social critique. A lot of fans of mine think that hip hop's ultimate responsibility is to critique social structures. — Talib Kweli

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The most important time in history is - NOW - the present,
So count your blessings cause time can't define the essence. — Talib Kweli

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My personal take on politics is I deal with social situations and cultural situations in my music and in my life. I have said on record many times that I haven't voted. I'm not the type of person who says, 'I'm never going to vote.' I think it's clear to me that our system has failed us. — Talib Kweli

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You see somebody rapping and you're like, "Nah, my cousin can do that." You're spoiled by the experience. Overseas, it's still something that people can appreciate. — Talib Kweli

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Well if somebody's giving me a script, I'll consider it. But it's not something I'm chasing. — Talib Kweli

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Consider me the entity within the industry without a history of spitting the epitome of stupidity. — Talib Kweli

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The only way for me to be an artist is to be honest in my craft. If I veer from that, I'm not giving the investors what they want. Sometimes it's my job as an artist to know what I want to do, even when the fans tell me different. — Talib Kweli

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If you ain't using all the talents God provided you with
For the betterment of Man, understand,
You ain't nothing but a waste. — Talib Kweli

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I take certain steps to make sure I'm relevant artistically. I always have new music and a reason to be on the road. I'm not just playing 'Get By' over and over. I have 12 albums. — Talib Kweli

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Just because someone has great content doesn't mean you like them as a rapper. — Talib Kweli

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As far as my New York influence, one thing I'm proud of in my career is, I rep Brooklyn, New York all day. But people don't look at my music as New York music. People consider my music underground music. — Talib Kweli

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Just because no one can understand how you speak,
Don't necessarily mean that what you be sayin is deep. — Talib Kweli

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Let me finish my music, and let me present it the way I want to present it. And then share it, put it online, do whatever you want to do after that. — Talib Kweli

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Hip-hop is a vehicle. — Talib Kweli

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Coltrane had a sax, Dale Earnhardt drives a race car and everybody has their tools. — Talib Kweli

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If I'm performing with a DJ, it's all on me to draw the energy. I like the camaraderie of a band. — Talib Kweli

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They hope for the Apocalypse like a self-fulfilling prophecy
Tell me when do we stop it?
Do they ask you your religion before you rent an apartment?
Is the answer burning Korans so that we can defend Islamics? — Talib Kweli

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I think the line is where you're in the studio, you're creating. That belongs to you as an artist. Nothing should taint that. I shouldn't be thinking about what the fans want, I shouldn't be thinking about what the radio wants, what the label wants, what your manager wants, a song for the chicks, a song for the street. — Talib Kweli

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I not only wanted to showcase lyrical skills but also continue to drop knowledge on the hiphop community. I'm looking to elevate through my music, and through my music I educate. — Talib Kweli

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But there's so many things in life like women, like children, like God and family that transcends the world of hip-hop. — Talib Kweli

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I remember looking back on a photo of me ... wearing a suit that was, like, two sizes too big for me. I think a lot of guys don't know what fits. — Talib Kweli

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I see that happening with hip hop purists now. Where you have an artist like a Kendrick [Lamar] or a Drake, who are really trying different things emotionally, different things musically, and on a mainstream level. And you have underground hip hop fans dissing it, for the simple fact that it's mainstream - not because what they're doing is whack, or what they're doing is not sincere. — Talib Kweli

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I am not a prisoner of conscious, but people try to make me one sometimes. It is both a gift and a curse. It's a high honour but can create limitations - I have to be fluid. — Talib Kweli

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My rhymes are like shot clocks,
interstate cops
and blood clots,
my point is your flow gets stopped. — Talib Kweli

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My fondest memories were watching the Beastie Boys get prepped to come on stage. They had a lot of antics and they play a lot of basketball ... then they were giving out cameras to the crowd, and performing from the bleachers. The most important thing I learned was that you control your crowd, not the other way around. — Talib Kweli

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I gotta be dope first. I gotta be appealing to your senses, and to what you like first. Then the message happens. Then you relate to the message. — Talib Kweli

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I feel like people mislead themselves when they tell themselves they're into me because of the lyrics. From my vantage point, people aren't into me because of the content, because of the lyrics. Because there's a million of rappers who have great content. — Talib Kweli

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They ask me what I'm writing for - I'm writing to show you what we're fighting for. — Talib Kweli

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But it becomes disrespectful when the artist's process is not respected. — Talib Kweli

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You make knowledge relevant to life and you make it important for children to learn things that will really relate to things going on in their lives, and not abstract. — Talib Kweli

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If I focus on being an activist and my job is to be a rapper, I'm not going to be as good of a rapper. I need to focus on hip-hop and focus on making the music, so that when the activists come to me and they need my voice to create a platform, then I've got enough people listening to me. Not because I'm conscious, but because I'm dope. — Talib Kweli

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When you shine bright, some won't enjoy the shadow you cast. — Talib Kweli

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So I think hip-hop is moving and is going to continue to move in the direction of rappers just being honest with themselves, whether you're talking about Common and Mos Def or Nas and 50 cent. — Talib Kweli

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We're in an illusion about what our role is in world politics and foreign affairs, and our policies are killing and destroying and doing a lot of things that we are not aware of. — Talib Kweli

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I think hip hop is a dance music that's rebellious by nature. — Talib Kweli

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My fans like to be romantic. I feel like I'm creating at least at the same level or even a higher level of creativity than I was at twenty-one. I've gotten better as an artist. — Talib Kweli

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The problem with our role is Americans live in a world of illusion. — Talib Kweli

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God gave us music, so we play with our words. — Talib Kweli

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I feel like your city - with hip hop in particular, because we're always beating our chest and shouting where we're from - your city is just as influential as your parents. Even the grimy, hardcore gangster rap from New York - KRS-One and Wu Tang, the stuff acknowledges it. — Talib Kweli

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I don't feel comfortable making empty music. — Talib Kweli

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Please, this is no disrespect to whoever your man is though. This relationship is strictly musical like D'Angelo — Talib Kweli

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When Occupy Wall Street happened, I took my money out of Citibank. I already had problems with all the banks - Citibank, Bank of America - but I was kind of just too lazy to take my money out until I saw how Citibank responded to Occupy Wall Street. — Talib Kweli

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As an artist, I have to be a leader of my fans, not, like, follow them. Because if I chose to follow them, you know, they could do it. You know, it's me who's doing it. — Talib Kweli

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Hip hop is at its essence a folk music, because it speaks the language that people are still speaking at ground zero, it speaks the language that people speak on the streets. — Talib Kweli

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I was always rhyming and doing it for the love before I found out I was gonna have children and when I found out, doing it for the love wasn't enough. — Talib Kweli

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You know, there's a lot of activism that doesn't deal with empowerment, and you have to empower yourself in order to be relevant to any type of struggle. — Talib Kweli

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Hi-Tek is on three or four songs on the new record. — Talib Kweli

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When I'm in the studio, I'm strictly thinking about the beats, the rhymes and the song. The decision I make once the songs are created, and there's a barcode put on the package, and I'm out there in the street selling it, those decisions as a businessman are different than the creative decisions you make. — Talib Kweli

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Homosexuality in hip-hop is an extension of homosexuality in the black community. The black community is very, very conservative when it comes to homosexuality, and I don't mean conservative in the good way, like we're saving money. I mean very intolerant. — Talib Kweli

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I have enough rhythm to blend at this point. I have enough rhythm to blend one song into another. But man, I have such respect for the art of deejaying. I hesitate to even call myself a deejay. — Talib Kweli

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I think once you're in the public eye, whether you're a boss, a teacher or whatever you do, that you're automatically in the position of role model. You have people looking up to you, so whether you choose to accept it or not is a different question. — Talib Kweli

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We get high on all types of drugs when, all you really need is Love — Talib Kweli

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We commute to computers;
Spirits stay mute while you eagles spread rumors.
We survivalists, turned to consumers ... — Talib Kweli

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Jazz is the greatest American art form and our greatest export. We don't pay attention to the youth of jazz, don't stoke the fires creatively for the youth coming up. I feel like jazz musicians became too much of purists - with Donald Byrd doing funk jazz in the '70s. — Talib Kweli

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I feel like I have way more resources, way more experience. I'm better. But my fans romanticize the earlier stuff, and I don't think it's just like a nostalgia thing of "He's not as good" - I think it's because that earlier stuff was aggressively marketed as a lifestyle to them. — Talib Kweli

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There just needs to be a gay rapper. He doesn't have to be flamboyant, just a rapper who identifies as gay - who's better than everybody. Unfortunately hip-hop is so competitive that in order for fringe groups to get in, you gotta be better than whoever's the best. — Talib Kweli

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I think people are into me because of my music choices and my musicality. — Talib Kweli

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If lyrics sold then truth be told/I'd probably be just as rich and famous as Jay-Z. — Talib Kweli

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I will never do a record without some sense of responsibility. — Talib Kweli

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Or is it the mind state that's ill, creating crime rates to fill the new prisons the build — Talib Kweli

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I have a luxury of people coming to see me whether I play for the crowd or not. I don't take that lightly. — Talib Kweli

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I met Mos Def around that time but I didn't hook up with him until I was about 17 or 18. — Talib Kweli

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The beautiful thing about hip-hop is it's like an audio collage. You can take any form of music and do it in a hip-hop way and it'll be a hip-hop song. That's the only music you can do that with. — Talib Kweli

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If you look at my career, doing albums with Norah Jones, Justin Timberlake, Gucci Mane and Lil Wayne or KRS-One and Jean Grae, I can't be pigeonholed. — Talib Kweli

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I tour whether I have album out or not. I tour more than any other hip-hop artist. — Talib Kweli

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Being called a conscious rapper is quite a compliment. It's a great thing to be. But as an artist, my nature is to not be in a box. — Talib Kweli

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Hip-hop isn't as complex as a woman is. — Talib Kweli

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I'm not an artist that has a big, huge radio record that's going to be on BET. — Talib Kweli

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I think that I am seeing the Internet and seeing technology take and seeing how the work I do through music directly affects people's lives better than any politician I've ever met. — Talib Kweli

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You can have your own opinion, but not your own facts. — Talib Kweli

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You have to know when to be arrogant. You have to when to be humble. You have to know when to be hard and you have to know when to be soft. — Talib Kweli

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Artists make art for themselves. Art is an honest expression. Artists who pander to their fans by trying to make music "for" their fans make empty, transparent art. The true fan does not want you to make music for them, they want you to make music for you, because that's the whole reason they fell in love with you in the first place ... — Talib Kweli

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These niggaz ain't thugs, the real thugs is the government.
Don't matter if you Independent, Democrat or Republican,
Niggaz politickin' the street, get into beef,
Start blastin' ... now a new cat is executive chief. — Talib Kweli

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What is Norah Jones' style? Is it just the albums that we've heard? She has a rock group where she plays guitar in, downtown in New York, so do we really know her style? — Talib Kweli

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I like the fact that I can rep New York, but my style does not - I'm not trapped in a New York thing. I can do art songs with other artists and it's seamless. — Talib Kweli

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A flower that grow in the ghetto know more about survival than the one from fresh meadows. — Talib Kweli

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I don't go into any album with pressing issues. I just try to write songs. — Talib Kweli

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I think music sharing of any kind is great. — Talib Kweli

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Life is a beautiful struggle.. — Talib Kweli

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Once you're signed to a label you compromise. — Talib Kweli

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Things are fluid in this world, and if you don't remain fluid, you get lost in the sauce. — Talib Kweli

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My parents are my biggest influences. My parents and my city. Brooklyn, New York, New York City, the community I grew up. I don't feel like I'm special in that. I feel like that's everybody. — Talib Kweli

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When I look at the arc of my career, my focus is on lyricism, right? I own that. — Talib Kweli

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Artists look at the environment, and the best artists correctly diagnose the problem. I'm not saying artists can't be leaders, but that's not the job of art, to lead. Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Harry Belafonte - there are artists all through history who have become leaders, but that was already in them, nothing to do with their art. — Talib Kweli

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There just needs to be a gay rapper who's better than everybody. That's when that question will no longer be able to be asked. — Talib Kweli

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I look at the deejay thing as a tier thing. If I'm not going to compete on that level, I'm just going to do it as a hobby. — Talib Kweli

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A lot of these people, these program directors, just like anybody else in the world, even though they're supposed to be leaders in the world, they're followers. They follow what they think someone else is doing, instead of trying to blaze a trail. — Talib Kweli

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I started rapping because I wanted people to hear what I have to say, I want as many people to hear me as possible, and I do everything in my power to make that pop. — Talib Kweli

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People consider Black Star a great album, and I think it's a classic album. But the fact is, both me and Mos Def have made better albums since Black Star. — Talib Kweli

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I'm at a loss for words. But even my loss is amplified. — Talib Kweli

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Music is not an exact science so depending on the time and the mode and the energy when we do it that will determine what happens with it. — Talib Kweli

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I look at the deejay thing as something - I'm good at it because I have my own music. I have enough rhythm to blend at this point. — Talib Kweli

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I'm not looking to set a standard ... but, I believe I have offered a challenge to others with my work. — Talib Kweli

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Being called 'conscious' is a great thing to be, but it's the connotations and preconceived notions that come with the buying audience about what conscious music can be. — Talib Kweli

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People didn't really take white rappers seriously until Eminem, because he was better than everybody. Like female emcees, you need to be like Lauryn Hill or Nicki Minaj or killing everything before somebody takes you seriously. — Talib Kweli

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My musical influence is really from my father. He was a DJ in college. My parents met at New York University. So he listened to, you know, Motown, and he listened to Bob Dylan. He listened to Grateful Dead and Rolling Stones, but he also listened to reggae music. And he collected vinyl. — Talib Kweli

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Life without knowledge is death in disguise ... — Talib Kweli

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I think all those artists are artists who are appreciated because you believe their words and you appreciate their honesty in their music. If you don't appreciate the honesty in the music, the beat can be fly as hell but you'll never give an emcee props. — Talib Kweli

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"Art Imitates life," of course, is that phrase by Oscar Wilde. I called that song "Art Imitates Life" because Oh No was in the studio and he actually came up with that hook. When I was trying to figure out a name for the record, it just kind of made sense. — Talib Kweli

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Woman are complex creatures. — Talib Kweli