Talib Kweli

  • Aired:  06/22/11
  •  | Views: 18,705

Talib Kweli thinks his conscious rapper label is a limitation and a compliment. (4:00)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A

POLITICALLY CONSCIOUS RAPPER.

WHEN HE RAISES THE ROOF, HE'S

TALKING ABOUT THE DEBT CEILING.

PLEASE WELCOME TALIB KWELI.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

NICE TO SEE YOU.

THANK YOU FOR COMING ON.

>> WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT.

IT'S A HAT.

I HAVE TO GIVE YOU A HAT.

I DO THE HATS.

>> Stephen: THAT IS NICE.

HOW DOES THAT SNROOK AM I

WEARING THAT RIGHT?

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: AM I GOOD?

DO I KNOW POSSESS SWAG?

>> YOU ARE A POSSESSOR OF SWAG.

YOU ARE SWAGGED OUT.

100% SWAGGED OUT.

>> Stephen: AND THAT IS

CURABLE?

>> THAT IS CURABLE.

I DON'T KNOW.

[LAUGHTER]

>>

>> Stephen: SIR, YOU ARE

SAYING -- AM I SAYING THAT

CORRECTLY?

>> YES.

>> Stephen: I HAVE A PRIMARILY

CONSERVATIVE AUDIENCE AND JUST

PRONOUNCING YOUR NAME RIGHT I'VE

LOST VIEWERS.

IN YOUR MIND WHAT IS RAP AND

EXPLAIN IT WITHOUT USING RHYME

ON RHYTHM.

WHAT IS RAP REALLY?

>> FOR THE PURPOSES I'M GOING TO

INCLUDE RAP AND 4EU7 HOP.

IN THE HIP-HOP COMMUNITY PEOPLE

MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

RAP HIP-HOP IS A VEHICLE, IT'S A

TOOL FOR EXPRESSION AND IT'S

MORE FOLK MUSIC THAN FOLK MUSIC

ACTUALLY IS.

>> Stephen: IT'S MORE FOLK

THAN FOLK?

>> THAT'S RIGHT BECAUSE IT'S

SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE OF REGULAR

FOLK.

WHEN FOLK MUSIC GOT MOP YOU LAR

IT WAS STRIPPED DOWN AND IN THE

LANGUAGE OF WHAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY

SAID.

THAT'S WHAT HIP-HOP DOES WELL.

>> Stephen: YOU ARE CALLED A

CONSCIOUS RAPPER.

DO YOU ACCEPT THAT LABEL?

>> I ACCEPT IT.

IT'S A LIMITATION BUT IT'S A

COMPLIMENT.

I LOOK AT IT IT'S A COMPLIMENT

SO I TAKE IT.

>> Stephen: AFTER THE ARRESTS

LAW THAT WAS GOING TO ASK FOR

I.D. PAPERS FROM MEXICAN

IMMIGRANTS YOU WROTE A SONG

CALLED PAPERS, PLEASE.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU, YOURSELF,

MEXICAN.

BECAUSE I DON'T SEE RACE?

>> AN CINCO DE MAYO.

>> Stephen: ONLY ONE DAY A

YEAR.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU AN

AFRICAN-AMERICAN?

>> YES, I AM.

>> Stephen: WHY WOULD YOU

WRITE BILLION MEXICAN CONCERNS

BECAUSE, I MEAN, JUST -- THINK

OF IT THIS WAY, IF COPS ARE

PULLING OVER MEXICANS AT LEAST

THEY ARE LEAVING BLACK PEOPLE

ALONE FOR A LITTLE WHILE.

WHICH SIDE IS YOUR BREAD

BUTTERED ON THERE?

>> THE ARIZONA LAW AND WHAT

MEXICANS AND PEOPLE OF COLOR,

THE PROBLEM WITH THE ARIZONA LAW

IS THAT IT BASES IT ON YOUR LOOK

AND YOUR APPEARANCE AND

PROFILING.

THAT'S SOMETHING THAT US IN THE

AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY CAN

DEFINITELY RELATE TO.

I HAD TO DO A SNOW ARIZONA.

ME BEING A SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS

ARTIST I COULD NOT GOOD TO

ARIZONA AND NOT ADDRESS THE

ISSUE ESPECIALLY WITH ARTISTS

LIKE SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS ARTIST

WHO'S BOYCOTTED ARIZONA BECAUSE

OF THIS POLICY.

>> Stephen: DO YOU THINK THAT

RAP IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO GROW

FROM WHERE IT IS RIGHT NOW?

BECAUSE IT'S EXPLODED IN THE

LAST 30 YEARS.

DO YOU THINK IT WILL MAKE THE

JUMP, YOU KNOW N POPULARITY FROM

WHITE SUB UB -- SUB URBAN KIDS

TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN?

>> IT'S A LONG SHOT.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO ONE OF MY

SHOWS.

>> Stephen: IF YOU WEAR THIS

HAT WILL I BE PULLED OVER?

>> YES.

>> Stephen: YOU ARE GOING TO

DID A SONG.

IT'S OFF OF THE ALBUM "GUTTER

RAINBOWS".

>> DIGITAL RELEASE ONLY IN THE

STATES SO THE FACT THAT YOU GOT

A CD MEANS YOU GOT EXTRA SWAG.

>> Stephen: THIS HAD COME FROM

EUROPE OR SOMETHING?

>> YES.

>> Stephen: THANK YOU SO MUCH

FOR JOINING US.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH A