Talib Kweli Rejects "Conscious Rapper" Label, Says It's Limiting

posted Sunday June 16 ,2013 at 11:02AM CDT | 44 comments

Talib Kweli Rejects

Talib Kweli admits that there's truth to his label as a "conscious emcee," but simultaneously rejects it.

Talib Kweli's latest project, Prisoner of Conscious, may, in fact be reflective of his stance towards being typecast as a particular artist.

"I don't consider myself as a prisoner of anything," explained Kweli in an interview with VladTV. "Clearly, I do songs with Nelly," he added, laughing.

However, Kweli is aware of attempts to label an categorize him. "Clearly, other people in this business, whether it be consumers or fans, or more importantly, the labels or the media, have the need to label me and package me as a conscious artist."

"I'm not special. They don't just do it for me. Everybody get a label applied to them," conceded Kwe, before adding, "But it's a matter of how much you live up to that label, and how much you accept whatever label someone else has given to you."

"The conscious rapper label correctly applies to me, because I am a conscious rapper," he explained. "...But this industry has demonized the term 'consciousness,' and has demonized  the idea of positive message and music that can move people in a different direction other than debauchery."

Kweli explained that he embraces the challenge of making positive music, but that the label placed upon him is limiting nonetheless. "That's why I fight against that label. That's why I fight against being put in that box, because the people who strive to put me in that box... are limiting the audience that can hear my music."

Watch the interview below:

RELATED: Talib Kweli Clarifies Statements On Rick Ross & Lil Wayne

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Comments 44 Posts

  • Anonymous
    nobody is more conscious den Drake
  • Anonymous
    You motherfuckers minds are too minuscule to comprehend what's being said.Grow the the fuck up kiddies!!!!!
  • sxxxx9
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyWVf-mVVSQ
  • Eziekiel Mcloud
    Nigga be looking like a Hornet with them Shades on.
  • Anonymous
    this nigga looks like hes 60. he done!
    • Yea
      Hes done a lot more than ull ever do wit ur life
  • zxsss4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W1tG-m4NSU
  • sxx009
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SCtyEOJy0A
  • zxsss4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI-KjVLS6Uk
  • Money First
    Real shit what he said....Hell just look at all the fake wannabe E-Thugs on threads like this...Everybody wants to be hard or talk shit but when it comes down to some positive shit that gets put in a box or sometimes labeled "soft."
  • FREDYYY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCGNTO0qaVc
  • crazy mother fucker
    shushes mother fuckers coming out the bushes. chaseing son of a dicks with chainsaws swinging.throwing em on the mother fucker
  • Anonymous
    ja rule will make him unconscious
  • 000x9
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLIbtbd32jI
  • talib annoying
    this nigga is reaching for attention too much ive heard about enough of this nigga. His music isnt all that great either he should stop trying to force himself to relevence because we all know that he will never be relevent
    • Papa G
      his music is some of the greatest shit ever
    • 4xtra
      You are stupid az hell.. There are too many trolls on this site. Just shut up already. Nigga just too deep 4 simple azz niggaz like YOU
  • Anonymous
    Talib = BUM RAPPER period
    • Anonymous
      fuck outta here
    • Papa G
      THE FUCK IS YOU SAYING????
  • wiz
    now at the wiz george lopez new album titled "beat it my name is zack now" with songs titled 'lets stand in stores really long and talk to indians " and "well u have to talk like monsters to fool people. at the wizz
  • Urban Flow
    He has a big point I agree.
  • uhhuhuhh
    bevis n butt head:
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T8E09aAOIc
    zxsss4:
  • uhuuhuhuhuhuhh
    bevis n butt head
  • zxsss4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T8E09aAOIc
  • bevis n butt head
    uhhuhuhh
  • bevis n butt head
    uhuuhuhuhuhuhh
  • Hating
    If you want to worry about labels then worry about why most people think you're wack. Learn to rhyme on beat.
  • sxx004
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ktawH1-X84
  • Used2be
    Used to like him, now he gets on my nerves. Boy stop!
  • Anonymous
    "Irrelevant Rapper" would label him better.
  • Drake best rapper alive
    alien looking bug eyed wack nigga with horrible voice and flow. Drake shits on this niggas whole carreer of irrelevence
  • Anonymous
    this why i dont like this do anymore now that title is in a box when the term itself defines being outside the box. just say you wanna make wack shit too and you like other mainstream artist when they come out uses gimmicks for gain you did the same thing at rawkus with the real mc and pro culture label. now you wanna do what you all ways wanted to do which is hammer time and puffy music. less john robinson,j-live,asheru and more nelly,2chainz,lilwayne. just cause they demonize it to keep the agenda means their right and you have to switch over unless thats in you in the first place but if you were a conscious you could know that im just sayin tho. niggas always got excuses to sellout
    • Anonymous
      he's signed to MCA records. That should be enough indication as to who has say in his business decisions...
    • Real^^
      Word to the father
  • Anonymous
    ja rule will knock this lil nigga unconscious
    • Anonymous
      #RuleTalk
  • FTK
    If u don't want people to associate your work with the word 'conscious', then y u put that word in the title of your album? I just don't get it...
  • Anonymous
    http://soundcloud.com/emil-nutron/the-beat-maniac-mix One Full Hour Of Dope Ass Banging Beats All Produced By Your Man Emil NuTron Get At Me About Prices on Leasing Or Full Purchase For My Tracks nutroniq@yahoo.com
  • anon
    Just start rapping about guns n bitches n hoes and they'll stop calling you conscious.. whining ass nigga. You made your whole career on making positive music which is GOOD, but stop complaining about it. Starting to sound like bitch ass Lupe..
  • bevis n butt head:
    uhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh U mad niggas ima do this for ever every day of my life till this site closes UHUHUHUHUHUHUHUH
    • Anonymous
      get a life MF
    • What?Uhu
      U on some real shit dawg