On Reflection Eternal’s 2000 album “Train of Thought,” Talib Kweli challenged fans, and himself, to “do what comes naturally.” After years of recording on mainstream labels, he now has the chance to produce exactly what he wants-and feels he needs-to produce: an album straight from his mouth to the ears of his fans. Invoking the true meaning of MC, Master of Ceremonies, Kweli brings incredible power to his live shows and feeds off the spontaneous energy of his audiences. Being able to interact directly with his audience and the musicians he most respects, he has created an album and a sound that best reproduces that ceremony for his fans. Finally, after serious urgency in the studio, Kweli presents ‘Gutter Rainbows,’ an album that takes a trip back to childhood while marking the newest stage in his long and dynamic career.As a boy growing up in Brooklyn, Kweli saw gutters that ran with dirt, oil and water, revealing a shimmering rainbow to his child’s eyes. Drawing its title from this memory, this album puts at the raw center what his music has been doing for years: finding and preserving the beautiful in the hideous; the rainbows in the gutter. Weaving the lyrical and the gritty, the autobiographical with an honest, no-holdsbarred hip-hop spirit; Kweli sticks fiercely to what feels true to him in creating the sound of this album. Without being tied to any particular label’s conception of what his sound should be or when his work should hit his fans, Kweli is free to build his most personal album yet in both content and motivation. Kweli’s true solo career has only just begun, and although the future holds more collaboration, “Gutter Rainbows” marks a new stage in the long and ever-evolving career of Talib Kweli.
This newest release, recorded on his time and with his talent as the driving force, proves Kweli is a complete and formidable musician-it presents the depth and breadth of his experience and ability, and sets a new bar for the cutting edge of hip-hop music.
“Gutter Rainbows” was recorded with the help of incredibly talented musicians from across the country. Eric Krasno, Jean Grae, Strong Arm Steady, Iron Solomon, Outasight, Kendra Ross, Sean Price, 88-Keys, Marco Polo, Ski Beatz, M-Phazes, S-1, E. Jones, Oh No and others make appearances.
1. After The Rain
2. Gutter Rainbows
3. So Low
4. Palookas (feat. Sean Price)
5. Mr. International (feat. Nigel Hall)
6. I’m On One
7. Wait For You (feat. Kendra Ross)
8. Ain’t Waiting (feat. Outasight)
9. Cold Rain
10. Friends & Family
11. Tater Tot
12. How You Love Me (feat. Blaq Toven)
13. Uh Oh (feat. Jean Grae)
14. Self Savior (feat. Chase Infinite)