Ahard-knock life? Eh, not so much. In stark contrast to so many of his fellow Brooklyn-born MCs, Talib Kweli was raised by two university-professor parents and spent part of his childhood in a posh Connecticut boarding school. As such, matters of Afrocentric conscience, not urban street survival, informed his first hip-hop efforts (mostly notably the Black Star project in the late '90s with former collaborator Mos Def). Over time, Kweli — whose solo album Eardrum debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in 2006 — would publicly grapple with his enlightened-brother label; in an interview with Vibe magazine, he announced plans to call a future album Prisoner of Consciousness. Kweli and longtime collaborator DJ Hi-Tek's current project Reflection Eternal's Revolutions Per Minute LP dropped back in May, featuring such radio-friendly tracks as bouncy doo-wop dance single "Midnight Hour." Featuring guest vocals by hip-hop siren Estelle, if this is Kweli's way of rebranding himself as a fun guy, it ain't half bad. Certainly Revolutions is more infectiously joyful than his craven hijacking of Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night" hook on the dreadful single "Steady." Yikes — let's see him get that off his conscience.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.