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Ear Drum

4.5 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 21, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the best-known and most acclaimed rappers in hip-hop, Talib Kweli makes his Warner Bros. debut with his first album on his own label, Blacksmith. Eardrum, his fourth solo album, delivers music that matters, that both sparks the mind and makes the body move. Solidifying Kweli's status among rap's most talented and important voices, Eardrum deserves to be heard.

Amazon.com

In the "conscious" rap game, even mid-list mainstreamers tend to get all but shut out of the highest-profile vehicles for hip-hop (BET, MTV, urban radio). Among these, Talib Kweli remains that exemplary liminal artist, one foot in the artistic purity of his underground roots and the other planted firmly in business of popular culture. Recent albums--The Beautiful Struggle and Right About Now--disappointed fans and critics alike, but Ear Drum marks a milestone in the Kweli catalogue. Wisely chosen collaborators (Kanye West, Roy Ayers, Jean Grae, Pete Rock, KRS-One, even Justin Timberlake and Norah Jones), accessible beats, and Kweli's staple of insightful, rhythmically drilling lyrics conspire to create his best outing since 2002's Quality. Blatantly front-loaded, Ear Drum's early tracks clearly outshine its back half. "NY Weather Report," "Say Something," "Holy Moly," and especially "Hostile Gospel Pt. 1" plainly sear, the latter two establishing the repeating theme of Kweli's tenuous relationship to religion. As Kweli himself makes clear in his first line on Ear Drum, "They say you can't please everybody," and plenty of sleepers lurk among Ear Drum's 20 cuts, but the standout tracks suggest that Kweli has bounced back from declining relevance with all cylinders firing. --Jason Kirk
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 21, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • ASIN: B000SO7ON4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,388 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I was introduced to Talib Kweli just as most people were when we heard what is still a rap classic today, "Definition". 1,2,3 it's Mos Def and Taliiib Kweliiii!!!! 'Til this day, this is still one of my favorite songs. If you are a real hip hop fan, then Black Star should easily be in your Top 25 for all time best hip hop CDs. The next release that I heard Talib Kweli on was Reflection Eternal/Train of Thought. While this CD was well known because of "The Blast", there were clearly other bangers on this CD such as "This Means You" w/Mos Def, "Too Late", "Name Of The Game", "Down For The Count" w/Rah Digga & Xzibit, "Move Somethin'", and "Soul Rebels" w/ De La Soul. In 2002, Talib released his 1st "solo" CD with Quality. Although the 1st single was "Waiting For The DJ" which featured Bilal, (As a matter of fact can we get another Bilal CD, please..lol), "Get By", which was produced by Kanye West, was clearly the track that should have been released first. It doesn't get anymore real hip hop than this track. "Joy" featuring Mos Def easily could have been the 2nd single after "Get By". There were other tracks that I enjoyed as well such as "Guerrilla Monsoon Rap" that featured Black Thought and Pharoahe Monch, "Put It In The Air" which featured DJ Quik, and "Gun Music" which featured Smif N Wessun (Cocoa Brovas). 2 years later, Talib released The Beautiful Struggle.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Talib is a one-man wrecking crew, breaking down fools that just don't have a clue. He makes a living out of terrorizing emcees. and his wordplay makes all the haters get down on their knees. Wishing for a halt to his verbal assault, but it's not his fault if they're reduced down to a grain of salt. Okay, I'll stop now while I'm ahead and leave the rest to the professionals! Talib Kweli would run circles around me and most lyricists in the game today. Don't forget when Jay-Z said "Lyrically, he'd be Talib Kweli." Even with the acknowledgement, Talib keeps his eyes on the prize and finally unleashes Ear Drum at a time when true hip-hop is suffering. The early teaser "Listen" grabbed everybody's attention, but the climate for rap music was steadily getting more watered down with garbage on the radio and in videos. After much delay and anticipation, Ear Drum delivers with songs like the hard-hitting anthem "Say Something" featuring Blacksmith signee Jean Grae, the smoothness of "Country Cousins" with Raheem Devaughn and UGK, and the radio-friendly "Hot Thing" with emcee/producer Will.i.am. Die hard fans will enjoy the old school feel of "Eat To Live," as well as "The Perfect Beat" with KRS-One. The laid-back groove "In The Mood" has a decent showing by Kanye West and the superb musicianship of Roy Ayers. The album closes with three bonus cuts, with "Go With Us" featuring Strong Arm Steady being the best of the bunch. The journey throughout Ear Drum is so captivating, the only disappointment is when the album reaches the end! Whether it's Common, Pharoahe Monch, or Talib, real Hip-Hop is finally back and better than ever. Really, it's up to the Hip-Hop community, the radio programmers, and the music-buying public to determine the fate of rap music.
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Format: Audio CD
Talib Kweli together with Mos Def and Hi-Tek were members of the band Black Star that released a classic eponymous alternative album in 1998. It became their one and only album, although Hi-Tek and Kweli also made another project Reflection Eternal with the album "Train of Thought" in 2000. However, while the three of them split, Hi-Tek continued his career as a producer, Mos Def still released albums but would dedicate more of his time as an struggling actor but Talib Kweli would continue to spread his words of wisdom with Conscious Hip Hop in his own name. The debut album "Quality" from 2002 was among the best albums of that year and featured the highlight "Get By" produced from the relativetely unknown producer at the time, Kanye West. Two years later sophmore album "Beautiful Struggle" came out, but it didn't get the same kind of praise at all even if the album was alright. For those that aren't fammiliar with Talib Kweli, he's among the most talented and intelligent Mc's around but he always declined any form of step towards mainstream and he remained unknown or simply too un-interesting to alot of people. On "Ear Drum" you won't expect any club songs with Ashanti or Mariah Carey but the producer and guest list looks very interesting and there is probably far more exciting numbers here then on his last album. Can he combine lyricism with production and make an album as good as Common's latest?.

Let's take a look at the songs cause afterall they have a huge impact On Kweli's music. Opener "Everything Man" Kweli talks about the burden of being a conscious rapper and the expectations he got to write good lyrics that people can apply to. This Madlib production is very soulish with a woman singing backround, very good opener even if it's a bit short.
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