Talib Kweli returns to the game with his 1st solo project since ’07 with Gutter Rainbows. This is also an only digital release which makes sense for the aging MC. While I myself like Talib Kweli, I’m not a huge fan so this will be a pretty fair and neutral review. But for an artist of his caliber, I’m expecting a lot.
1. After The Rain
Produced by 88 Keys
Not a song intro, its basically guys talking about their ghetto dreams. I’m kinda mad that he wasted this dope ass beat on a comedy intro.
2. Gutter Rainbows
Produced by M-Phazes
This is the kind of beat I like…definitely quality. He drops plenty of jewels in this one. This is the way you start off an album. The subject matter is life in the ghetto or “Gutter” as you might be able to tell by the title.
3. So Low
Produced by Shuko
Another smooth beat with Talib goes in on his typical polita-rap with a mixture of psychology…the typical Kweli track. The song is short and its missing something. A slightly below average track from Kweli on this one.
Featuring Sean Price; Produced by Marco Polo
Dirty ass beat from Marco Polo. I’m feeling it and Kweli is riding it perfectly, killing it with his flow. He’s going in basically on how he’s better than these other rappers. I was already excited when I saw this featured Sean Price. I could see why he put Price on this one because this is his type of beat and he loves to compare himself to new rappers. Good Track
5. Mr. International
Featuring Nigel Hill; Produced by S1
This could be an attempt by Kweli for radio play but whether it was or not, this is dope as hell. Once again this track has a good beat and nice hook, but is just missing something. I hate to do the King Jerm and call him a rapper boring, but I’m kinda coming to that conclusion about Kweli.
6. I’m On One
Produced by Khyrsis
Ed Lover stops through real quick on this one. I don’t know what the hell is going on with this one. “No patience for the wack MC this aint WorldStar homey this aint Vlad TV” nice line but still same thing you talked about on every single other song. Not his type of song
7. Wait For You
Featuring Kendra Ross; Produced by S1
Good music on this one. This one is about not missing opportunities and I ain’t mad at it. The beat and the smooth vocals from Kendra Ross really makes this track though.
8. Ain’t Waiting
Featuring Outasight; Produced by 6th Sense
Wasn’t the last song called “Wait For You” now this is called “Ain’t Waiting”? This song takes me off guard being that it starts up so damn quick. I’m not feeling the vocal placement on this one.
9. Cold Rain
Produced by Ski Beatz
This is a track by one of the hottest underground producers right now the homey Ski Beatz. This sounds like a ’03 Dipset beat. Above average song thanks to Ski Beats production.
10. Friends And Family
Produced by E. Jones
This is the momentum change the album needed in my opinion. He needed to slow down a little and he does it on this one. The production on this album is dope. Even though the subject matter is still pretty much the same Good Rap vs. Bad Rap, this one also obviously includes appreciation of friends and family.
Produced by Nick Speed
He goes into a little story telling. Sounds like something Raekwon would make. Not feeling it though.
12. How You Love Me
Featuring Blaq Toven; Produced by Blaq Toven
I’m having problems telling if this is one of those typical tracks where they use a woman metaphor to describe rap or if he is really talking about a girl? Either way it’s typical. All I have to say about this is whatever.
13. Uh Oh
Featuring Jean Grae; Produced by Oh No
I never listened to Jean Grae before but damn she sick! She killed this one and her flow is crazy. This a good combo.
14. Self Savior
Featuring Chance Infinite; Produced by Maurice Brown
Good verse from this Chance Infinte guy. Not much to say about this. Its an okay track.
I figure this will keep Kweli fans very happy but its nothing spectacular. It wasn’t bad, but I personally couldnt listen to it again. Every Kweli song seems to be about the same thing and he bores me with his delivery. I will say that the production is pretty good for most of the album and that is a plus, because it helps out with boring subject matter. I would say Kweli is great if you wanted to hear 1 or 2 of his songs but a whole album of him isnt the best thing.
nappyPicks: “Gutter Rainbows”, “Palookas”, “Uh Oh”