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Talib Kweli's "The Beautiful Struggle"

Talib Kweli is soft in the head.

Rough versions of his next album "The Beautiful Struggle" were leaked on the net and a message board fan posted links to it. Talib got angry and flipped on the kid. The positive, pro-Black emcee even threatened to hurt him, saying:

"I will find out who you are and you will be dealt with accordingly. This is no threat."

He should be thanking him instead. Doesn't Talib know that obscurity is a bigger problem for artists than piracy and that downloading has been academically proven to not affect record sales? Talib complains that he's never gone gold or platinum like Kanye West and that this bootlegging will harm his record sales. Of course he doesn't realize that Kanye's album was also bootlegged before it came out and rough versions of unreleased songs were on mixtapes almost a year beforehand. I should know. I copped the mixtapes and the bootleg album. I was so impressed by Kanye's soul sample flipping that I bought the album on its second week out.

So should Kanye be beasting on me for stealing money out of his hands? Talib should realize that the real crooks are at his record label, Rawkus Records. I'm sure he doesn't get more than 12% of the profits from his own work. So let's see him threaten Jarret Myer and Bryan Brater next time.

March 15, 2004 in Commentary | Link Me | Related Searches | Related Music

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Holleration

yo you know you got this right ova here. all this net activity, and i've been conducting polls on this for awhile, it makes people buy music. when a freind hips me to something hot, or i hear it online, i get that clear sample. even with the bootlegs. if the shit is hot, this is like the intro - even the mixtapes have made me go out and cop something.

man, talib, better actually think about linking getting a good site hooked up where he can test the market with some downloads or somethng.

Posted by: lynne at Mar 15, 2004 10:21:59 PM

Looks like Lynne beat me to it. When I hear tracks like this, I go cop the album and that's all there it is to it. He might wanna get over this anger. If he doesn't get any money, like you said, it's because he got run over by Rawkus.

Posted by: ej at Mar 16, 2004 12:21:16 AM

I feel this outburst is a well planned publicity stunt. It will get people talking. As someone in blogdom suggested he may have released himself. Kanye's stuff was all over the mixtapes and net. His joint exploded. 50 too. It's the latest marketing strategy. Kweli, instead of laying back in the cut, is grabbing the horns and riding.

Posted by: METALFACE at Mar 17, 2004 3:12:30 PM

i think its about time people give talib the props he deserves. his new album is gonna be a gooood one. and people need to go to his shows. he is unbelievable live, plus thats the real way to support artists.

Posted by: shank at Mar 23, 2004 2:28:51 AM

i believe that talib kweli has every right to be pissed off. in his statement he says that he works hard and has the right to determine how his work is presented, and i agree. he is a talented man who deserves to be respected and he obviously feels disrespected by the jerk who leaked his music onto the internet. and to who ever wrote this article, kanye west and talib know each other and i'm pretty sure that talib knows that kanye's album was bootlegged as well. also to shank, i agree with everything you said. i also want to add that despite what others may think, talib is a very down to earth and friendly person. i got a chance to meet him and talk to him for quite awhile. i was not disappointed at all, he is such a lovely person.

Posted by: julisa at Apr 2, 2004 2:56:38 AM

yo wuts the name of that song where talib samples the beatles song "eleanor rigby" and uses it in the hook? cos its hot as hell and i wanna know the name of the song, i think it might be on that new album y'alls was talkin about

Posted by: phil at Apr 3, 2004 12:24:20 PM

i really think kwe is a very talented artist. he deserves to have his album presented the way he wanted as he stated in his reply. but flipping out is only going to cause confusion and maybe even hurt his appearance. but even if it happenes, i'm still gonna add this cd to my collection (Black Star, Reflection Eternal, and Quality).

Posted by: Kai at Apr 11, 2004 12:02:44 PM

i love talib ever since i was 14 yrs old now being 18 today i realize that talib is not being respected like the way he suppose to be. i feel maybe rawkus have somethin to do with his money they not promotin his albums and songs enough. i think talib is the best rapper of all time lyrically and baby one day when you come to b-more or dc i will sure love to meet talib and talk to him in person wanted to meet him on my 18 b-day but talib wasnt in b-more or dc durin march 13(my b-day)but i will try to do my research and find out the next time he comes. everyday i go to school carry around my talib kweli on the front and back of my notebook i have all his albums and i try to preach the word of talib unqiuness cuz alot of people just dont know when they see talent. even jay-z wanted to be lyrically like talib kweli if jay-z says it then everybody need to take a closer listern to talib's word

ps talib wanna see my page go on blackplanet my name is liltalib04 leave a note or email or whatever

Posted by: Ada aka liltalib04 at Apr 13, 2004 9:20:10 AM

wut the hell is the name of that song?

Posted by: Phil at Apr 16, 2004 7:55:51 PM

Big mistake yo. Rawkus folded a couple months ago, and I don't think that label had much of a role in Quality (maybe it did, but I doubt it). Plus, those studies were proven mathematically (songs downloaded/albums bought). That doesn't prove that albums aren't being bought. The industry started deteriorating when file sharing started, and Tower Records recently become bankrupt. Almost every independent record store in Seattle that I grew up with is now out of business. What caused this? Bad music? That's rediculous.
Kweli is worrying that he can't sell units anymore. He didn't sell out, and he's not an asshole. I download music too (I bought Kweli's last two albums though) but Kweli is simply scared that he's going to be out of a job. I would feel the same way if I were in the same position.

Posted by: Michael Powell at Apr 18, 2004 8:40:40 PM

the name of the song using the "elonor rigby" sample is called "lonley people". And as far as I am concerened Talib is one of the most underated rap artists ever and is in my catergory as one fo the deepest and realest.

Posted by: Byron at Apr 22, 2004 1:04:58 PM

Talib has a right to be angry in a sense. He has never had a gold or platinum selling record on the charts but has merely been recognized as a multi-talented and deep lyricist with skill. He later made an apology for the reaction he had towards the leakers. If an album is being leaked, it is looked at as having potential to be hot and sell, if ppl were stealin ur stuff, while u have to remake and rethink ur tracks on ur record (not even released yet, it would probably make u heated, having to spend more money and time in the studio. Think before u diss the dude. You are obviously NOT in his shoes.

Posted by: crispy at Apr 27, 2004 2:01:01 PM

thank ya very much, r u sure it isn't "i try" cos um while i was waitin 4 a response i did a lil research and it sed that and mary j blige does vocals on it

Posted by: phil at Apr 27, 2004 7:51:38 PM

I can understand why he would be mad, but he also has to understand that the internet and the act of downloading songs from the internet is the 'new mixtape'. The only difference is that with this 'new mixtape', it reaches a whole greater number of people. I feel that this is a good thing just for the simple fact that now a lot more people can find out about him and his music, increasing his fanbase. And if his new album is as good as Quality, and as good as the the song that I heard on Chappelle's Show, then his album WILL be copped, by me, FIRST DAY!

Posted by: L. Watterz at Apr 28, 2004 10:55:27 AM

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Posted by: erik at May 10, 2004 5:30:12 AM

Talib Kweli-in my opinion is the greatest lyricist of all time, he is a huge inspiration to struggling artists(myself included)and, as it has been mentioned already-he is definitely the most underrated rapper, I downloaded his rough cut of beautiful struggle (SORRY KWE!!!), and let me say it is the dopest album since Reflection Eternal, I know I know...I did not think it was going to be possible for him to outdo himself after putting out the fire that was Quality, but he has. And, while it is true that the leaking of this album may in fact boost his sales,it seems to me some of you people DO NOT REALLY listen to him. Kweli has said over and over it's not about how many records you sell.
The man has every right to be angry about his work being stolen from him,if I were in his position I would be just as pissed, and I do not believe for one second that any of you could honestly say that, in his postion you would not be. The fact is, he now has to go back and re-edit, re-shuffle and possilby remix the entire album, maybe even create new material for a product he was nearly ready to share with the world.So think about it for a second, maybe you'll understand his anger. And Kwe if you're reading this, just know that Me and countless other lovers and seekers of truth and knowledge will be there to cop your album the day it drops. I guess for you it really has been a beautiful struggle.
Keep your ears open people, I'm coming, slowly but surely.

Posted by: R-Loc at May 11, 2004 1:13:51 PM

I think Talib reacts very cool 'bout this. Like the way he admits he would also download an unreleased album of his favourite artist if he could. But like he said; if you Like it, Buy it.

I ain't no saint neither; I downloaded the album a few days ago. However it is clearly unfinished and mixed poorly, it even has an untitled instrumental on it.

I can't wait for the album to drop so I can BUY it. Y'all should too, it's great!

Posted by: Nico at May 12, 2004 5:47:58 AM

Can anyone e-mail me and tell me what the name of the song was that TK performed on The Dave Chappelle Show?

Posted by: Bo hagen at May 18, 2004 3:12:04 PM

i think kweli is one of the dopest/underrated MCs out.reflection was one of the first Cds i copped when i first started gettin into real hip hop.i thought move sonethin was the tightest song/video on rap city at the time... the whole CD blew my mind, his lyrics actually meant sumthing. he didnt have many songs to dance n wild out to, but he proves that its not always about that. till this day reflection is hands down my favorite CD, its been years later n its still in my disk changer n still get played.... his quality was a cool CD, he strayed a lil from the refelction style, but u cant hate for him tryina switch his style up slightly... as for the beautiful struggle, im not even down to d/l it early.. i got faith in kweli n if he say it aint done yet, then let it be.... after u cop the finished version, feel free to back track n d/l songs that didnt make the cut or was remasterd. i just think that if u guys say u like him as much as you do, you would respect a his wishes.... and as for him still being on rawkus, maybe its not such a bad thing, they allow him to do the music the way he wants to, n how we accept it. so sinstead of going off to another bullshit company for money, he just asked that yall show a lil respsect b/c hes trying to stay true to hip hop AND make sum Ns, but heads be mseeing it up for him....GO COP BEAUTIFUL STRUGLLE!!!

Posted by: ab5tract at May 24, 2004 4:41:02 AM

some of you think but i know Talib is the most underrated rapper(no scratch that) lyricist there is... name somebody with more thought provoking rhymes who dosen't get the love they should.. and maybe Talib's not going platinum is Rawkus's fault. you gotta notice that wheneva a MC drops new fire u hear about it everywhere.. maybe i'm slakin but i didn't hear bout Beautiful Struggle until he performed live on Chappelle.. and yeah maybe it was a little wrong for Talib to lash at the kid but you gotta feel his pain.. his talent is unequaled when u put a mike to his face and by wanting to sell out people call him a sellout... Baseline is this every rapper is talkin bout takin it back to the streets and being real.. some of them really are but a few true MC's neva left that.. and along with my other two favorite rappers Black Thought... and Mos Def.. Talib runs what should be known as "true" hip hop..

Posted by: yungnex at Jun 23, 2004 5:38:09 PM

some of you think but i know Talib is the most underrated rapper(no scratch that) lyricist there is... name somebody with more thought provoking rhymes who dosen't get the love they should.. and maybe Talib's not going platinum is Rawkus's fault. you gotta notice that wheneva a MC drops new fire u hear about it everywhere.. maybe i'm slakin but i didn't hear bout Beautiful Struggle until he performed live on Chappelle.. and yeah maybe it was a little wrong for Talib to lash at the kid but you gotta feel his pain.. his talent is unequaled when u put a mike to his face and by wanting to sell out people call him a sellout... Baseline is this, every rapper is talkin bout takin it back to the streets and being real.. some of them really are but a few true MC's neva left that.. and along with my other two favorite rappers Black Thought... and Mos Def.. Talib runs what should be known as "true" hip hop..

Posted by: yungnex at Jun 23, 2004 5:38:27 PM

Yo big up Talib (...'lyrics stick to ya rib...')
Truss me folks this is the dopest most concious and educated MC I can think of . The man is a poet.
I too witnessed the interview on Radio1 when he spoke of the leak situation....he spoke about downloading as being a tool, an information tool that was there to inform the masses about music they can't always get hold of. I don't remember him beefin' about it tho???
Yep, that's right who would have tought he could have out done himself after QUALITY, REFLCTIONS ETERNAL...then come up with BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE!!!
The saddest thing thouh is there are still people who claim to follow hiphop who are not aware of the educatioal kwelity Talib never fails to deliver...all this at break neck lyrical speed and precision......daaaammn....can I get a witness?

Posted by: Granty at Jul 5, 2004 3:31:30 PM

Yo, I just got back from Kweli's show in Milwaukee and i have to say it was super live! Definitely, it's Kweli's time to shine now in the main stream and be heard by the rest of the world.It seems Kanye was in the same place Talib is only a few years ago in the underground, Now look at him; he's all over MTV and blown up world wide. It seems you gotta make it on MTV or that TRL BS to make it big cause that's what all the teens are watchin.Kweli, Mos Def, Common and etc. are the ones who should be getting all the air time on MTV if were up me cause they's the only one's with true lyrical talent. I'm just tired of hearing the same ol' club, bling-bling, how many women I got BS. I hope y'all can agree.and if so let me here ya!

BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE, GET YOUR COPY, SUPPORT REAL HIP-HOP!!
Holla back

Posted by: MosDefinitely at Jul 6, 2004 2:22:47 AM

the link said file sharing, not bootleg albums. twit.

talib's not on rawkus records because they went bankrupt due to people downloading and bootlegging songs, twit.

every one says "it takes like, 23 cents to make a cd" but it costs money to buy recording time. twit.

Posted by: kenny g at Jul 16, 2004 6:55:45 PM

to Nico:
The song you was talking about is "Around The World"

Posted by: biggdogg40509 at Jul 31, 2004 12:00:57 PM