Reflection Eternal – Train of Thought – Talib Kweli & Hi Tek
Oct 17, 2000
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Talib Kweli and D.J. Hi-Tek….Reflection Eternal album review
Where do I start with this album review? I had given up on finding any really good new hip-hop records or artists. Today it seems that everyone is about the “Bling-Bling” and what he or she have instead of what they are saying. Do we really need to hear about, or do you really care about “Nelly” and his air force one’s? I sure as fuck don’t. I grew up listening to RUN DMC and Public Enemy. Q-Tip and BDP will get even me on the dance floor, so I’m looking for some shit that has some lyrical style and a beat. This CD is now in heavy rotation in my car and at home. Talib Kweli is a lyrical genius. He flows like the Beastie Boys in their Paul’s Boutique days and has the authority of KRS-1.
He is more concerned with the state of hip-hop than with what shoes he has on his feet. The rhymes on this record range from attacks at the overwhelming, and sad infiltration of candy coated pop in hip-hop, to stories of his youth growing up in Cincinnati. He definitely gives his props to the old school with shouts to aforementioned Boogie Down Productions and KRS-1, but he takes what he gained from listening to these artists and added his own life experiences, lyrical style and delivery, which is near perfection.
This isn’t really just a hip-hop record though. Track seven is an almost jazz instrumental with trumpet, which continues into track eight, which also features a piano. The second half of the record seems to vary more than the first with some female vocals and the aforementioned multi-instrumentation. This guy has definitely researched music as a whole and it’s history, as there are many influences strewn throughout.
DJ HI-TEK has the beats to do justice to the rhymes. As soon as this record started playing, I couldn’t stop bobbing my head and tapping my foot. He goes from hard hitting beats, to light almost flowing tracks with layered affects that have an ambience of a late night after-hours session. If I went to clubs and dance, this is what I would want the DJ to spin. The record is also sprinkled with guest appearances that only help establish the sincerity of this album and the respect that these guys deserve as artists.
Overall, this is a record worthy of anybody’s record collection. Actually, most people should be forced to at least hear this album so they can hear what integrity and talent really sounds like on wax.
Review by Big Black
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