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The 50 Best Songs of 2007

Journey back 13 years to a stellar year for Rihanna, M.I.A., Arcade Fire, and Kanye West. From hip-hop to indie rock and everywhere in between, PopMatters picks the best 50 songs of 2007.

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The Roots Pack Gramercy Theatre with Special Guests for Jam

After the National's Citi Sound Vault show, I caught one of the Root' tremendous nights of special jams.

Music

The 10 Greatest Lyricists in Hip-Hop

From the type of honest and revealing storytelling that some have mastered to the wit-centric, mind-bending lines that ooze with double entendres and third, fourth, and fifth meanings, the best hip-hop will forever be contingent on the power of its lyrics. Here, PopMatters takes a look at 10 of the best lyricists the rap form has to offer.

Music

Talib Kweli Debuts New Song as Tribute to Adam Yauch

At a recent gig at the Sound Academy in Toronto, perennial PopMatters fave Talib Kweli debuted a new song in tribute to the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, who recently passed away. Word is, his sixth album Prisoner of Conscious will be on the way this year, but no release date has been announced yet. We are eagerly awaiting it.

Reviews

Outsiders Tell the Story of the Other America in 'Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975'

This film gives us a look back at a puzzling and fascinating moment in American history that casts a different light on '60s idealism and the death of that decade's ideals.

Music

A Joy to Experience: Neo-Soul Singer Bilal Oliver

Bilal Oliver belongs to an elite class of late '90s Neo-Soul singers, but his guest appearances may be the true gems of his career.

Events

Talib Kweli: 21 June 2011 - Brooklyn

A chilled out, inaugural summer evening in the park was led by Talib Kweli.

Music

Hip-Hop's Laboratory of Language

What do William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, Ice Cube, and Ghostface Killah have in common? Finally, they all appear in anthologies.

Music

KRS-One & Buckshot: Survival Skills

Hip-hop luminaries deliver a tag team album with solid results, but could have reached deeper for something more valuable.

Reviews

Live at the Shrine

Save your money for an actual Talib Kweli concert. You'll be glad that you did.

Music

Madlib the Beat Konducta: WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip

As often as it seems like Madlib might be a genius, there are records like this that prove true the old adage of "quality versus quantity".

Music

The Best Albums of 2008

PopMatters presents our 60 best albums of 2008, highlighted by the return of British trip-hop legends and some infectious American indie rock by way of the Cascade Mountains.

Music

The Best Hip-Hop of 2008

A return to the mic nine years in the making, a hip-hop supergroup of sorts, and Tom Waits beatboxing: this year's top-shelf hip-hop is equal parts anticipation, teamwork, and wha?!

Music

The Roots: Rising Down

Eighth studio album from Philly's legendary hip-hop crew, a minor-key rush of synthesizer-heavy vamps and distrustful rhymes, features cameos from Mos Def, Talib Kweli and more.

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Talib Kweli, Hot Chip, Bell X1...

Music

"Not Because I'm Conscious": An Interview with Talib Kweli

The rapper says, "I just try to write songs," but he's tackling difficult subjects while trying to launch a business.

Steven J. Horowitz
Music

Talib Kweli: Ear Drum

Hip-hop's "Flow Captain" returns with another artistic statement that almost hits the mark.

Reviews

Talib Kweli

In anticipation of his (long-awaited) new solo CD, rhymesmith extraordinaire Talib Kweli makes pre-emtive good on an old promise.

Sam Frank
Music

Talib Kweli: Right About Now

Right About Now is Kweli's attempt to free himself from the burden of expectations, and just make music.

Dave Heaton
Reviews

Black Star (Mos Def and Talib Kweli): 28 November 2005 - Washington, DC

What do you do when the mold that breaks the mold needs breaking?

Wills Glasspiegel
Music

Talib Kweli: The Beautiful Struggle

Talib Kweli is clearly struggling between the underground's 'values-based' approach and the mainstream's love of the crook and the hook, trying to find a third way that negates the either/or tug-of-war between 'consciousness raising' and big pimpin'.

Terry Sawyer
Reviews

Talib Kweli

Andrew Watson
Music

Talib Kweli: Quality

Quality is filled with songs that are ripe for the radio, at least in an ideal world where radio paid any attention to songs.

Dave Heaton
Reviews

Audiotistic: Mos Def + Talib Kweli + The Roots + Outkast

Audiotistic isn't/wasn't meant to be purely hip-hop, though. Billed as the Future Sound Festival in Southern Cali, it's typically been a cutting edge sort of venue with electronica and house at the center of its agenda.

J. Victoria Sanders
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