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Interviews Music Work

Maz Meets Talib Kweli

Talib has been standing strong in the hip hop scene since 1998, when he and fellow rap genius Mos Def released the classic album Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star. Since then, the Hip Hop general has released four albums, worked with the legend Mary J Blige and with Hip Hop’s favourite rapper, Kanye West. I chat to Talib to find out what he has planned for us next.

Hey Talib. What have you been up to recently?

My focus at the moment has been all about Gutter Rainbows. I am about to work on the album Prisoner of Conscious for Blacksmith. I am excited about the group Strong Arm Steady’s new album, Arms and Hammers. have also been working on Jean Grae’s Cake or Death LP and some more Idle Warship material with Res.

You have a loyal but exclusive UK fan base. Do you plan to try and break the mainstream UK market?

I do concerts in the UK at least twice a year. I sold out at two concerts last year; I did Roundhouse in Camden in October. I am not sure when the next one is, but I will keep you guys in the loop for sure!

You have worked with major artists, such as Kanye West. How was that experience?

I happened to meet Kanye when he came to my recording sessions looking for Mos Def. Back then, he was just a producer making beats for everyone. Nobody knew he had it in him to rap. It was great to work with him, we had and we still do have a lot of mutual respect for one another.

You also worked with Mary J Blige. How was that?

Mary was one of the most gracious, professional artist’s I have ever worked with. I would love to work with her again.

You quite a socially conscious rapper. What influenced you to take that alternative path?

The music I make is not alternative hip hop, it is REAL hip hop. All that other stuff they play on the radio is the alternative…

 What advice would you give to up and coming rappers?

Ignore the industry and create your own legend.

 

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Miscellaneous

Hey, you. Welcome.

 

After setting up a blog on another well known site and eventually neglecting it beyond all hope, I was encouraged to open a WordPress account. A humble creature, I am not afraid to say that as soon as I logged in, I was totally baffled. Writing I enjoy; technology I do not.

I won’t bore you with details of myself. I am a writer. I have written for newspapers and mags, but live for twisted creative writing. At the moment – in the year 2011 – I am currently freelancing/contributing around London for all sorts of things, mainly MTV Wrap Up, Flavour Magazine and Pardon My Blog. My job has allowed me to interview some pretty cool people, but I won’t start name dropping, you can read ’em for yourself in my ‘Maz Meets…’ section.

I am a typical Cancerian in every sense. I fall in love too easily; however as an emotionally free spirit I can fall out of it pretty easily too. I love cats, Cadbury’s chocolate, UK hip-hop and poetry.

PS: At the time of writing this, I am the Deputy Managing Editor for NXG Magazine, an urban youth publication. Check out the new issue online:

http://www.issuu.com/nxgzine/docs/movie_issue_july-august2011