Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows

Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows

Is it just me or is Talib Kweli officially approaching the musical apex of artists we are unable to criticize? It feels impossible to find flaws, or talk about them at least. It appears counter culture to think his latest whatever is subpar. It comes across as contrarian to think his latest album wasn’t some cultural phenomenon that’s “gonna change the game forever, bruh”. And thinking his latest album or project was kinda lame makes you an ignorant fuck who doesn’t get the Kweli movement or whatever. To Talib Kweli’s credit, there really aren’t too many contemporary artists who have reached this sort of plateau of critical acclaim, actual substance and rabid fandom. Jay-Z and maybe Nas are the only artists I can think of in the hip hop world, outside of that each and every genre could make it’s arguments, but think along the lines of Radiohead or Arcade Fire. Even the teensiest bit of criticism or even just a “meh” gets you and your dumbass opinion dismissed faster than Charlie Sheen goes through eight balls and whores (topical pop-culture joke!).

So here’s my dumbass opinion, Gutter Rainbows isn’t that great.
Kweli’s voice, his lyrical wizadry, is his instrument and he is a master. His solo’ing ability has and will never be in doubt. However, Gutter Rainbows is not the Talib Kweli spoken word project. This is an album where the other musical elements never find harmony with Kweli’s voice. I can’t decide if he is just trying to do too much lyrically, or if the music just can’t keep up with Kweli; either way, Gutter Rainbows just never takes off.
What mystifies me about Gutter Rainbows is its place in the hip hop atmosphere. It’s a challenging release in the sense that it completely spurns my hip hop philosophy that each record or album can be placed somewhere along the sliding scale that has “Rapper’s Delight” on one side, and “The Message” on the other. The goal being to find some sort of middle ground between the two polarities. It’s a fucking x-axis, and Kweli says fuck your x-axis, and demands a y.  You gotta respect that.

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. Chace Infinite

Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows, reviewed by Delicious on 2011-02-02T13:31:32-08:00 rating 3.0 out of 5

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