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Talib Kweli Talks New Album, Gutter Rainbows

Talib Kweli spoke to XXL after announcing he was putting the finishing touches on his new album Gutter Rainbows on Twitter earlier today.

“I don’t have a [release] date, per se,” explained Kweli, who began seriously writing and recording for the album in August and says it will come out before Christmas. “I’m not on a label right now and it’s exciting to just be like, ‘You know what, I’m just gonna put this out.’ And I’ve don’t that before—I put out Liberation with Madlib and I didn’t even tell anybody; one day it was not out, and the next day it was [and] like 100,000 people downloaded that for free.” Gutter Rainbows, however, unlike Liberation, will be an album for purchase, likely for around $10, according to Kweli. Production credits for the release will include Hi Tek, Ski Beatz, M-Phazes, E. Jones and Symbolyc One.

“With Blacksmith, we’ve had deals with Warner Brothers and deals with Koch before, but I wanted to experiment with just putting something out on my own, and just seeing what my worth really is to the fans,” he continued.

Below he explains how the term “gutter rainbow” was inspired by the late J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye and experiences he had as a kid.

“I read The Catcher In The Rye when I was in Europe a few months ago and I didn’t really enjoy, but one thing that I took from it was that reference,” he recalled. “The character actually says ‘gasoline rainbows’ in the book. I was like, ‘Wow.’ I’ve always wanted to call a song ‘Gutter Rainbows’—just because of the rainbows that you see when the oil and the water mix in the gutter—and do a song based on that. I just remember being a little kid and finding beauty in that, and how you have to find beauty in stuff like that when you in the hood. But that reference—him noticing the gasoline rainbows in New York City, and just the character’s love for New York City—are what attracted to me to that phrase. Somebody else got it, so it made me feel like it was more than just a song. Maybe it was an album.”

Last week on his Twitter, he stated that the project will be completely self-financed and that it will exist outside of the music industry.

“This is the first time in my career since I’ve been known to rap where I haven’t been attached to any sort of major label,” Talib said, acknowledging he’s taking a risk doing it all on his own, but assuring he’s ready for the challenge. There’s no one to say, ‘You can’t put it out because you have a contract with us.’ But, at the same time, there’s no one to distribute it on a major level. Who knows what it’s gonna end up being.”

Last week he also explained that the tracks on Gutter Rainbows are tracks that didn’t belong on Prisoner of Consciousness, what was expected to be his next album and a departure from his current sound, which he still intends on releasing in the very near future.

“I have some deals on the table [for Prisoner of Consciousness],” he disclosed. “This project is sort of an offshoot of Prisoner of Consciousness. Prisoner of Consciousness I want to be more of a departure from what people might be used to hearing from me; so, with that, I really want to take my time on it. But, at the same time, in order to maintain relevance in the marketplace, I feel like people need to hear from me.”

Expect to see a new mixtape released from Talib within the next month or so called the Community mixtape. It will consist of a collection of the best tracks that his fans have sent in to him.


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94 Responses to “Talib Kweli Talks New Album, Gutter Rainbows

  1. Slumbilical Says:

    LASERS

  2. neville Says:

    Word!! kanye still has the most anticipated hip hop album if 2010. go kweli

  3. NovemberEnd Says:

    its only been 9months since Act II was first announced, but i guess 9months in internet time equates to 9 years
    ^
    Nah Nov, this is gonna be the third Christmas that Act II hasn’t been released.
    ^^^^
    LOL & SMH

    Elec should just stop w/ these announced release dates and not talk about Act II unless he 1000% sure its gonna happen

  4. abortatron Says:

    Which one of you guys wrote Illimatic for Nas since it’s confession hour?

    ^
    not me. i penned ‘deeper than rap’ tho..

    BAWSE

  5. hl Says:

    FROM: Classic Drug References

    Act II will arrive on Christmas day, with over 10 songs and 200mb in size. the music will be produced by Jay himself, Madlib Mr. Porter, Hi-Tek, Beat Autopsy and many more.

    guest appearances by Nas and Guilty Simpson

    videos and other assorted goodies.

    2008 looks promising.

    ^smh

  6. Big_seth Says:

    Troubleshooter1900 Says:
    September 20th, 2010 at 7:11 pm
    Greg Street looks like an ALL BLACK EVERYTHING panda bear.
    ^^

    LMAO.

  7. ThatMan Says:

    Gutter Rainbows = Cudi and Wale

    Shots fired

  8. Big_seth Says:

    Slumbilical Says:
    September 20th, 2010 at 7:10 pm
    LASERS
    ^^

    *daps Chea*

    FNFUP^

  9. Marv Says:

    2008 looks promising.

    ^^

    *Dead*

  10. ThatMan Says:

    I ghost wrote “Hola Hovito” on Blueprint.

    Needless to say, my career didn’t take off. :(

  11. Big_seth Says:

    ThatMan Says:
    September 20th, 2010 at 7:18 pm
    I ghost wrote “Hola Hovito” on Blueprint.

    Needless to say, my career didn’t take off. :(
    ^^

    Smiley ether.

  12. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    Now is my time to confess…..

    Back when I was 8 years old, my rhyme book got stolen. When I graduated from 8th grade in 1999, I heard of this guy named Nas. I decided to check him out since he had a lot of hype surrounding him. So, I went to FYE and purchased Illmatic. I’ll be damned if that wasn’t the shit in my rhyme book.

  13. Big_seth Says:

    I ghost wrote Thriller.

  14. ThatMan Says:

    FROM: Classic Drug References

    ^^

    oh shit. I remember that blog….haven’t been there in forever…

  15. hl Says:

    I did all the adlibs for Diamond D’s debut album. Fat Joe is a liar.

  16. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    Nigga, you KNOW damned well Remex wrote Hola Hovito.

  17. Big_seth Says:

    three years before my birth.

  18. Big_seth Says:

    Remex ghost wrote Selena’s debut album.

  19. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    I was the one that burned Chippa D’s ass cheeks.

  20. NovemberEnd Says:

    Train Of Thought is classic

    Quality >

    Black star album >

  21. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    Train Of Thought is classic

    Quality >

    Black star album >

    ^Yessir.

  22. Big_seth Says:

    NovemberEnd Says:
    September 20th, 2010 at 7:21 pm
    Train Of Thought is classic

    Quality >

    Black star album >
    ^^^

    coincidence… I ghost wrote all of those.

  23. Big_seth Says:

    peace folks.

  24. ThatMan Says:

    Kweli’s Gun Music >>>>>>

  25. Troyvul Says:

    Now is my time to confess…..

    Back when I was 8 years old, my rhyme book got stolen. When I graduated from 8th grade in 1999, I heard of this guy named Nas. I decided to check him out since he had a lot of hype surrounding him. So, I went to FYE and purchased Illmatic. I’ll be damned if that wasn’t the shit in my rhyme book.
    ^
    lmao

  26. EnglandRepresent Says:

    I wrote ‘Oops I did it again’, it was originally meant for Jigga but some bint got hold of it instead. Nevermind I’m still flossin.

  27. NovemberEnd Says:

    Gutter Rainbows?

    o_0

    I hope this album isn’t Talib “Electric Circus”, “New Danger”, “808s” experimental type album

  28. EnglandRepresent Says:

    Kweli is hit and miss to me. Dude is undeniably talented but it’s something about his delivery that ain’t always keep you focused on his rhymes.

  29. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    Good To You>>>>>

  30. hl Says:

    cook that bitch…

    COOK THAT BITCH!!!

  31. Shooter Says:

    Thieves in the Night is probably my favourite Kweli verse

  32. D_Block_4_Life Says:

    King/ Do My Thing >>>

    another joint that should of been an album cut.

  33. NovemberEnd Says:

    “I want to be more of a departure from what people might be used to hearing from me; so, with that, I really want to take my time on it. But, at the same time, in order to maintain relevance in the marketplace”

    i guess it is

  34. Suaveebolaetc.etc. Says:

    Kweli is hit and miss to me. Dude is undeniably talented but it’s something about his delivery that ain’t always keep you focused on his rhymes.

    ^^

    This.

  35. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    Favorite Kweli verse is the joint on African Drums.

    Even Love Language was>>>>>IMO

  36. nation Says:

    >> Kweli is hit and miss to me. Dude is undeniably talented but it’s something about his delivery that ain’t always keep you focused on his rhymes.

    I heard it. it’s quality

  37. Eastern_Digital aka Nahright's Fantasy Football champ Says:

    So eskay finally came outta the closet ntpf and posted some straight up advertisement like an actual post?

  38. hl Says:

    2000 Seasons >>>

  39. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    Wait, Nation, you heard Gutter Rainbows already?

  40. Don Vincenzo Says:

    Big_seth
    11 mins ago
    I ghost wrote Thriller.

    ^
    lol

    How many a y’all believe this xrapheadx guy? And I thought Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind was a movie about erasing shit from your head wit Jimmy Carey?

  41. Eastern_Digital aka Nahright's Fantasy Football champ Says:

    Memories LIve >>>>>

    Good Morning >>>

    Eternalists >>>

  42. D_Block_4_Life Says:

    Big Voice, Bigger City >>>>

    Banks is on fire right now.

  43. E aka Mac with the Cheese Says:

    I ghostwrote the illiad

  44. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    I remember playing Four Women in English lit. because we had to bring in ballots. Most of the women were in tears at the end of the song.

  45. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    And I ghostwrote the odyssey

  46. why? Says:

    I ghostwrote the New Testament.

  47. hl Says:

    I ghostwrote ‘It’s the Calm’.

  48. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    I ghost wrote this post 5 years ago.

  49. NovemberEnd Says:

    Ghetto Afterlife >>>

    Moving Something >>>

  50. Shooter Says:

    didnt Nation say he had heard Act 2 as well

  51. Cashmere Cavalli aka Snowbunny Sampson Says:

    Gutter Rainbow = Omar from the Wire

  52. nation Says:

    >> So eskay finally came outta the closet ntpf and posted some straight up advertisement like an actual post?

    well, it’s not even music related and it’s clearly posted under “Advertorials.” we do that from time to time. nothing for you to bother your little head about

    >> Wait, Nation, you heard Gutter Rainbows already?

    he played me some tracks in Sweden, not sure if they were from Gutter Rainbows or from POC, but it was top notch

  53. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    # hl Says:
    September 20th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I ghostwrote ‘It’s the Calm’.

    ^I ghostwrote this comment too.

  54. why? Says:

    I taught Ronald Reagan how to cook crack.

  55. NovemberEnd Says:

    Premier sorta co-wrote Ether when he told Nas to call Shawn a camel

  56. Deen Says:

    Remember the “fake” modified LV shades Rick Ross wore on the cover of XXL?

    You don’t?

    Whatever. I had that design first and lost my modified shades while motor boating a big tittied floosy on Miami beach. I guess the Bawse got lucky (nh).

  57. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    he played me some tracks in Sweden, not sure if they were from Gutter Rainbows or from POC, but it was top notch

    ^Damn, first time I ever envied someone, lol.

    *daps*

  58. why? Says:

    Fuck it. I invented Nah Right and traded it with the Ashmi Rawlins in exchange for 80% of the payola and Mcdonald’s chicken nuggets.

  59. E aka Mac with the Cheese Says:

    Remex ghost wrote Selena’s debut album.
    ^
    Remix was also Juan Gabriel’s ghostwriter

  60. EnglandRepresent Says:

    he played me some tracks in Sweden

    ^^Oh you fancy huh?

  61. hl Says:

    If the tape is out there somewhere, this would be the GOAT youtube footage.

  62. hl Says:

    Premier sorta co-wrote Ether when he told Nas to call Shawn a camel

    ^If the tape is out there somewhere, this would be the GOAT youtube footage.

  63. EnglandRepresent Says:

    Nate if you ain’t try auqavit when you were in Sweden then you need a good slap upside your bonce. That shit is crazy juice. I got love for it.

    Is that where you were on vacay? Nahright pay for that shit I hope? *daps Nate*

  64. Don Vincenzo Says:

    @Trouble

    Was that Nina Simone’s Four Women

    Or Relection Eternals For Women?

  65. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    @Trouble

    Was that Nina Simone’s Four Women

    Or Relection Eternals For Women?

    It was the Reflection Eternal’s version. The Nina version goes hard too. My favorite Nina joint is Mississippi Goddamn.

  66. nation Says:

    >> Oh you fancy huh?

    *death* as the track plays on Drake’s DJ’s mixtape that I’m posting up later (haters get your engines ready)

    >> Is that where you were on vacay? Nahright pay for that shit I hope? *daps Nate*

    we went to Mallorca first… as I’m sure you know, too many fucking Brits there innit. but Sweden was a trip. and of course I gotta post shit like this to be able to get away once in a while

    http://nahright.com/2010/09/20/coca-cola-secret-formula-program-at-universal-motown/

    so be a good mate and Like the widget on the left from your Facebook, lol

  67. No_neva-eva Says:

    Kweli is hit and miss to me. Dude is undeniably talented but it’s something about his delivery that ain’t always keep you focused on his rhymes.

    ^^^

    Kweli can’t rhyme on beat to save his life. He’s had his moments in the past, but a lot of his shit is wack.

  68. E aka Mac with the Cheese Says:

    we went to Mallorca first… as I’m sure you know, too many fucking Brits there innit
    ^
    ay full of chavs and scousers

  69. No_neva-eva Says:

    Premier sorta co-wrote Ether when he told Nas to call Shawn a camel

    ^^^

    Apparently Preem & Jay had already fallen out over an argument over a hook or some such (Primo wanted a scratched hook, Jay wanted some other shit), but I think it was at Justo’s Mixtape awards where Primo was quoted as saying Nas ‘ate him up’, like he was hella proud of Nas…Primo gave Jay cred in the beginning, that had to hurt.

  70. ThatMan Says:

    I always liked Kweli’s music. I’ve heard the voice/delivery complaints but I’m glad it has never bother me.

    He rarely gets much “best MC” co-signs on blogs, but most rappers give him a lot respect and more importantly, his music is consistently nice.

  71. Instru-mental AKA Darth Vader AKA Your Father Says:

    Kweli is a legend.

  72. rex hussla Says:

    I ghostwrote Eng Rep’s existence…there was like 8 of us who smashed his mom in a weeks span so rather than get a paternity test we all share production credits

  73. Don Vincenzo Says:

    Nina Simone = Legendary

  74. hl Says:

    Apparently Preem & Jay had already fallen out over an argument over a hook or some such (Primo wanted a scratched hook, Jay wanted some other shit)

    ^Never heard this before.

  75. Instru-mental AKA Darth Vader AKA Your Father Says:

    In other words, Preemo is a bitch?

  76. ThatMan Says:

    # D_Block_4_Life Says:
    September 20th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    King/ Do My Thing >>>

    another joint that should of been an album cut.

    ^
    i like the beat on the song, but Banks sounds constipated in certain parts on the song off of my first listen…

  77. Cypher Says:

    I ghost wrote Obamas acceptance speech…

  78. rex hussla Says:

    Gutter Rainbows sounds like a homo thug anthem

  79. NovemberEnd Says:

    I ghostwrote Eng Rep’s existence…there was like 8 of us who smashed his mom in a weeks span so rather than get a paternity test we all share production credits
    ^^^^^
    *wrestles a killer crocodile*

  80. Don Vincenzo Says:

    we all share production credits
    ========================

    Niggas Quincy Jones’d Eng Reps existence

  81. hl Says:

    @No_neva-eva Was that Preme/Jay falling out mentioned in an interview or something?

  82. rex hussla Says:

    Lloyd Banks does sound constipated…like he is about to die from constipation and he’s trying to spit his lyrics out from the toilet before he collapses. That or he’ s rhyming after getting shanked in the stomach. Why does he sound so bad?

  83. E aka Mac with the Cheese Says:

    Lloyd Banks does sound constipated…like he is about to die from constipation and he’s trying to spit his lyrics out from the toilet before he collapses. That or he’ s rhyming after getting shanked in the stomach. Why does he sound so bad?
    ^
    or like he gargles on pieces of grounded up sandpaper before spitting a verse

  84. Troubleshooter1900 Says:

    I ghostwrote all you niggas comments, my school books, the shit you watching on tv, AND I even ghostwrote Star Wars.

    Take that Nah’vies.

    PS- I ghostwrote that movie too.

  85. Cypher Says:

    Roffle.. @ the comments of the JE facebook page

    Sn- now JE claiming IP issues

  86. EnglandRepresent Says:

    we went to Mallorca first… as I’m sure you know, too many fucking Brits there innit. but Sweden was a trip.

    ^^Memories of a yute in Mallorca. Magaluf was the spot I used to go to way back when, did you get there Nate? Mallorca is pretty fucking shit though, full of pikey, sunburnt, drunk and rowdy Brits. And Magaluf is fucking rank as well. What were you doin there? Where in Sweden did you go to? It’s a cool spot in Summer. Expensive though. Nahright trip or what?

  87. abortatron Says:

    i’ll holla at yall in a sec…

    i’m trying to finish ghostwriting this post for nate..

  88. Don Vincenzo Says:

    I ghostwrote all you niggas comments, my school books, the shit you watching on tv, AND I even ghostwrote Star Wars.

    Take that Nah’vies.

    PS- I ghostwrote that movie too.

    ^

    I ghost wrote this… I need legal council

  89. Abortatron Says:

    What’s good BSG

  90. Cypher Says:

    I ghostwrote the 10 commandments…

  91. EnglandRepresent Says:

    lmfao @ Rex.

    I ghostwrote your paternity test though chief. That little sprog you cuddle up to and tuck in bed every night is that local down syndrome fella, Ray Ray’s kid. I just wanted you to have something in life apart from a low IQ and a withered leg.

  92. No_neva-eva Says:

    @No_neva-eva Was that Preme/Jay falling out mentioned in an interview or something?

    ^^^

    Man I looked around real quick and couldn’t find it. I don’t think either Jay or Preem said anything publicly, but I recall reading from more than one source that they disagreed on a hook and that was the last time they worked together. Preem always did those scratched hooks (d’evilz, bring it on, a million and one questions rmx, so ghetto, etc.) Jay was trying to go somewhere else with it, they butted heads. Keep in mind, Jeru was sending shots at Big on record and Big and Jay were probably wondering why Jay let that shit ride in his session. Years later, maybe around Kingdom Come, folks were asking if there would be any Primo beats and Jay was all ‘ Just Blaze is the new Primo’. I’m sure whatever disagreement they had was between them, but when Primo backed Nas against him…Jay ain’t forgiving that shit.

  93. ThatMan Says:

    I ghostwrote the 10 commandments…

    ^^

    So you’re the one I can be mad at for “do not commit adultery”

  94. James Says:

    UMMMMMMMMM?

    When is the BLACK STAR ALBUM and tour , Damn kwe ill title but really another solo? Black star is a must!!!!!

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