Taib Kweli has never shied away from social commentary, and his newest album, Liberation, is no exception — itâ€™s obvious from when you first cop the disc and see an image of Talib super-imposed on the statue of liberty. Can he truly follow in Mosâ€™ footsteps sacrificing musicality for didactic self-indulgence? Does he go Commonâ€™s route, diluting his art Gap-ad style for a couple bucks?
He does neither, instead going for straight, simple hip-hop, championed by Madlib behind the boards. Although, Kweli is often criticized for his nasal, often inaccessible flow, Madlibâ€™s jazz and soul infused beats are a welcome compliment. Kweli spits politics on â€œFunny Money,â€ but it never sounds pretentious, the looped horns giving the track a relaxed feel. The sample on â€œWhat Can I Do?â€ relegates Kweliâ€™s rapping completely to the background.
On his MySpace, Kweli says that this is the sound many of his fans were waiting for. Itâ€™s true: Madlibâ€™s minimalist sounds provide a solid foundation for Talib to build on. Did we forget to mention? This album is an Internet only, free release. What are you waiting for?