Talib Kweli quotes

  • I ignored your aura but it grabbed me by the hand, like the moon pulled the tide, and the tide pulled the sand.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Spiritual #Moon #Hands

  • The beautiful thing about hip-hop is it's like an audio collage. You can take any form of music and do it in a hip-hop way and it'll be a hip-hop song. That's the only music you can do that with.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Beautiful #Song #Hip Hop

  • Hip-hop isn't as complex as a woman is.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Hip Hop #Hips #Hops

  • Artists make art for themselves. Art is an honest expression. Artists who pander to their fans by trying to make music “for” their fans make empty, transparent art. The true fan does not want you to make music for them, they want you to make music for you, because that’s the whole reason they fell in love with you in the first place....
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Art #Love You #Expression

  • Skip the religion and politics, head straight to the compassion. Everything else is a distraction.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Compassion #Distraction #Religion And Politics

  • Nowadays rap artists coming half-hearted, Commercial like pop, or underground like black markets. Where were you the day hip-hop died? Is it too early to mourn? Is it too late to ride?
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Artist #Hip Hop

  • The responsibility of an artist is to be honest with themselves.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Responsibility #Artist #Honest

  • I think all those artists are artists who are appreciated because you believe their words and you appreciate their honesty in their music. If you don't appreciate the honesty in the music, the beat can be fly as hell but you'll never give an emcee props.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Honesty #Believe #Thinking

  • Life without knowledge is death in disguise.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Hip Hop #Disguise

  • Life is a beautiful struggle..
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Beautiful #Struggle #Life Is

  • I think once you're in the public eye, whether you're a boss, a teacher or whatever you do, that you're automatically in the position of role model. You have people looking up to you, so whether you choose to accept it or not is a different question.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Teacher #Eye #Thinking

  • I think hip hop is a dance music that's rebellious by nature.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Dance #Thinking #Hip Hop

  • Do the math: You never settle for less than the whole if you knew the half.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Math #Hip Hop

  • I not only wanted to showcase lyrical skills but also continue to drop knowledge on the hiphop community. Im looking to elevate through my music, and through my music I educate.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Skills #Community #Lyrical

  • You know, there's a lot of activism that doesn't deal with empowerment, and you have to empower yourself in order to be relevant to any type of struggle.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Struggle #Order #Empowering

  • So I think hip-hop is moving and is going to continue to move in the direction of rappers just being honest with themselves, whether you're talking about Common and Mos Def or Nas and 50 cent.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Moving #Thinking #Rapper

  • You gotta get back to your essence, Use your gifts and share your presence, Don't count your dollars 'til you count your blessings.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Blessing #Essence

  • We get high on all types of drugs when, all you really need is Love
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Drug #Getting High #Needs

  • I'm not looking to set a standard... but, I believe I have offered a challenge to others with my work.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Believe #Challenges #I Believe

  • You have to know when to be arrogant. You have to when to be humble. You have to know when to be hard and you have to know when to be soft.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Humble #Squash #Arrogant

  • I started rapping because I wanted people to hear what I have to say, I want as many people to hear me as possible, and I do everything in my power to make that pop.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #People #Want

  • Hip-hop is a vehicle.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Hip Hop #Hips #Hops

  • I don't care if Rick Ross is 40 years old -- he's a misguided 40-year-old person.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Years #Care #Misguided

  • They hope for the Apocalypse like a self-fulfilling prophecy Tell me when do we stop it? Do they ask you your religion before you rent an apartment? Is the answer burning Korans so that we can defend Islamics?
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Self #Hip Hop

  • There are staples to my show. I have to be conscious about switching things up because I know people who saw me last year will say, 'He did that last time.' But if certain things work, they work.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Years #People #Lasts

  • A lot of these people, these program directors, just like anybody else in the world, even though they're supposed to be leaders in the world, they're followers. They follow what they think someone else is doing, instead of trying to blaze a trail.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Thinking #People #Leader

  • Homosexuality in hip-hop is an extension of homosexuality in the black community. The black community is very, very conservative when it comes to homosexuality, and I don't mean conservative in the good way, like we're saving money. I mean very intolerant.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Mean #Hip Hop #Community

  • If you look at my career, doing albums with Norah Jones, Justin Timberlake, Gucci Mane and Lil Wayne or KRS-One and Jean Grae, I can't be pigeonholed.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Careers #Looks #Albums

  • You make knowledge relevant to life and you make it important for children to learn things that will really relate to things going on in their lives, and not abstract.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Children #Important #Abstract

  • Ain't nobody making music to not be heard and the easiest way to be heard is to be on the radio, but you should never compromise who you are, your values or your morals.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Radio #Way #Moral

  • My fondest memories were watching the Beastie Boys get prepped to come on stage. They had a lot of antics and they play a lot of basketball... then they were giving out cameras to the crowd, and performing from the bleachers. The most important thing I learned was that you control your crowd, not the other way around.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Basketball #Memories #Boys

  • But you have to be creative on how you sell yourself and market yourself.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Creative #Be Creative

  • Artists look at the environment, and the best artists correctly diagnose the problem. I'm not saying artists can't be leaders, but that's not the job of art, to lead. Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Harry Belafonte - there are artists all through history who have become leaders, but that was already in them, nothing to do with their art.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Art #Jobs #Leader

  • When you shine bright, some won't enjoy the shadow you cast.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Shining #Shadow #Enjoy

  • These ***** ain't thugs, the real thugs is the government. Don't matter if you Independent, Democrat or Republican, Niggaz politickin' the street, get into beef, Start blastin'...now a new cat is executive chief.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Real #Rap #Cat

  • Just because no one can understand how you speak, Don't necessarily mean that what you be sayin is deep.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Mean #Hip Hop

  • You can have your own opinion, but not your own facts.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Facts #Opinion

  • Why give you the cure when the disease makes money?
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Giving #Hip Hop

  • Truthfully I wanna rhyme like common senseNext best thing I do a record with common sense
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Common Sense #Records #Common

  • Honestly, you have to take care of yourself. That's probably something I have learned on the road.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Care #I Have Learned #Honestly

  • Even an independent label is looking for a hit, they're not looking for a record that's not gonna do well.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Independent #Labels #Records

  • I don't feel comfortable making empty music.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Empty #Feels

  • Who you? Your name smaller than fine grains in couscous It's the highest calibre, your calibre is deuce deuce
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Names #Hip Hop #Deuces

  • A true artist does not depend on radio for success. A true fan does not let radio determine what they support
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Artist #Support #Doe

  • The most important time in history is - NOW - the present, So count your blessings cause time can't define the essence.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Blessing #Essence #Important

  • We're in an illusion about what our role is in world politics and foreign affairs, and our policies are killing and destroying and doing a lot of things that we are not aware of.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #World #Roles #Affair

  • It’s very seductive to focus on what you don’t like as opposed to celebrating all that it is that you do.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Seductive #Focus #Celebrate

  • Or is it the mind state that's ill, creating crime rates to fill the new prisons the build
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Creating #Mind #Prison

  • My rhymes are like shot clocks, interstate cops and blood clots, my point is your flow gets stopped.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Blood #Flow #Cop

  • If lyrics sold then truth be told/I'd probably be just as rich and famous as Jay-Z.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rich #Truth Is #Truth Be Told

  • We speak the love language, they speak from pain and anguish. Some don't love theyselves, so they perception is tainted.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Pain #Rap #Hip Hop

  • So I just had to step up how I was doing it and the moment that I stepped up and the moment I focused all my energy on that is when things started to happen. So there's a direct relationship between my inspiration and my output.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Inspiration #Steps #Energy

  • You gotta eat right, you gotta have healthy habits, you know, and balance out your decadence with a healthy lifestyle during the day.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Healthy #Balance #Lifestyle

  • When I look at the arc of my career, my focus is on lyricism, right? I own that.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Careers #Focus #Looks

  • Well if somebody's giving me a script, I'll consider it. But it's not something I'm chasing.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Giving #Scripts #Chasing

  • The way I see it, if people truly love my music, they will support me in some way down the road.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #People #Support #Way

  • Once you're signed to a label you compromise.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Labels #Compromise

  • Being called a conscious rapper is quite a compliment. It's a great thing to be. But as an artist, my nature is to not be in a box.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rapper #Artist #Compliment

  • And you know, art as commerce, doesn't really make too much sense, they don't go together.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Art #Together #Too Much

  • Woman are complex creatures.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Creatures

  • The problem with our role is Americans live in a world of illusion.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #World #Roles #Problem

  • I'm at a loss for words. But even my loss is amplified.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Loss #A Loss For Words

  • I think music sharing of any kind is great.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Thinking #Kind

  • I remember looking back on a photo of me... wearing a suit that was, like, two sizes too big for me. I think a lot of guys don't know what fits.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Thinking #Two #Guy

  • But it becomes disrespectful when the artist's process is not respected.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Artist #Disrespectful #Process

  • I met Mos Def around that time but I didn't hook up with him until I was about 17 or 18.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Hook #Mets #Hook Up

  • Young kids should be doing music that has shock value. They'll grow out of it.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Kids #Shock #Young

  • I don't think that early hip hop stood out to be a social critique. A lot of fans of mine think that hip hop's ultimate responsibility is to critique social structures.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Responsibility #Thinking #Hip Hop

  • I like collaboration because, first of all, I'm good at writing lyrics. I don't know how to make beats. I don't play instruments. I'm not a good singer. So even when you see a solo album of mine, it's still a collaboration.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Writing #Play #Albums

  • What is Norah Jones' style? Is it just the albums that we've heard? She has a rock group where she plays guitar in, downtown in New York, so do we really know her style?
    -- Talib Kweli

    #New York #Rocks #Guitar

  • The only way for me to be an artist is to be honest in my craft. If I veer from that, I'm not giving the investors what they want. Sometimes it's my job as an artist to know what I want to do, even when the fans tell me different.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Jobs #Artist #Giving

  • The materialism, the brashness, the misogyny - everything in hip-hop is amplified. Misogyny is a good example of something that is completely amplified in hip-hop. I do think there is more than enough of a balance, though, for fans who are willing to search it out.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Thinking #Hip Hop #Balance

  • As far as being on a major label, some labels get it and get what they have to do, and some labels don't. I don't think the label I'm on necessarily gets it, but I think over time they're gonna have to.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Thinking #Labels

  • My musical influence is really from my father. He was a DJ in college. My parents met at New York University. So he listened to, you know, Motown, and he listened to Bob Dylan. He listened to Grateful Dead and Rolling Stones, but he also listened to reggae music. And he collected vinyl.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #New York #Father #Grateful

  • My kids are the most inspiring thing that pushes me. It used to be because they were born, and I had to take care of them. Now it's because my son raps, and he's better than me. So now I gotta keep up with him, you know what I'm saying?
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Kids #Son

  • It doesn't get any more underground, conscious or indie than Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, but because they got a couple of really big pop hits, actually some of the biggest pop hits that hip-hop has ever seen, people are missing that part of their story. People are not counting that blessing.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Couple #Blessing #People

  • If I focus on being an activist and my job is to be a rapper, I'm not going to be as good of a rapper. I need to focus on hip-hop and focus on making the music, so that when the activists come to me and they need my voice to create a platform, then I've got enough people listening to me. Not because I'm conscious, but because I'm dope.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Jobs #Dope #Rapper

  • What's more condescending and corny than someone telling you how much more money they have than you and telling you basically, 'I don't care about poor people,' which is a large part of what you hear of corporate hip-hop on the radio.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #People #Hip Hop #Care

  • Consider me the entity within the industry without a history of spitting the epitome of stupidity.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Stupidity #Hip Hop

  • If you ain't using all the talents God provided you with For the betterment of Man, understand, You ain't nothing but a waste.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Men #Hip Hop

  • We commute to computers; Spirits stay mute while you eagles spread rumors. We survivalists, turned to consumers...
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Eagles #Hip Hop #Rumor

  • When I met you it was magic... We polar opposites, but attracted like we was magnets.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Opposites #Hip Hop

  • A flower that grow in the ghetto know more about survival than the one from fresh meadows.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Flower #Rap #Ghetto

  • God gave us music, so we play with our words.
    -- Talib Kweli

    #Rap #Play #Hip Hop