Seattle duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ recent win at the Grammys has resulted in many in the Hip Hop community voicing their thoughts on the pair’s various Grammy wins, specifically Best Rap Album. While some have let their criticism fall on that of the Grammy committee others have expressed anger at both Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, an anger Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli feels is misguided.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Grammy debacle was one of many topics discussed during Talib’s interview with Out Da Box Radio. Talib went on to state that given the Grammys history, those watching the annual awards ceremony should not have been surprised at the outcome. He also called attention to the fact that prior to the Grammys last month, Macklemore himself said that Kendrick Lamar is more deserving of a Best Rap Album Grammy.
“I agree with the statement that it’s kinda silly to have been shocked by this decision,” Talib said. “The Grammys [has] historically made the same type of decisions they made when they gave Macklemore that Grammy. It’s not a shock or surprise. I do think it’s misguided to direct your anger towards Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. I don’t think it’s their fault. I think they worked hard. I think they deserve all the accolades and praise that they worked hard to achieve for. And I think Macklemore himself has done a lot of things from making a record called ‘White Privilege’ years ago to putting out that Instagram message to Kendrick. Or to saying a week before the Grammys that he feels like Kendrick deserves a Grammy. I feel like there’s nothing more for that man to do. What’s he supposed to do?”
Talib went on to reference a quote from Public Enemy's Chuck D as he further commented on his disdain for the Grammys.
"I’m still on my Chuck D," he said. "Chuck D said 20 years ago ‘Who gives a fuck about a God damn Grammy.’ I’m still on that. I don’t give a fuck about the Grammys."
The Brooklyn wordsmith later spoke on the issue of misinformation when it concerns rumors of celebrity involvement in the Illuminati, a secret society founded in the 1700’s.
“I think that misinformation can be far more dangerous than lack of information,” he said. “I’d far rather somebody not know shit than know a bunch of nonsense that they try convince me…Well, the things that people are worried about. You know, population control, one world governments, stuff like that. Lack of privacy. Those things are real, but Kanye West and Jay Z don’t have shit to do with it. It’s a ruling class that’s enacting [these things] on the people. And the people have to be willing to fight against the [ruling] class.”
Lastly, Talib addressed Bill de Blasio, the current mayor of New York City and politician’s connections with Hip Hop artists, a move he says was “slightly scary” given the history of New York City politicians.
“It made me feel like I was doing the right things. I’m definitely a fixture of Park Slope, Brooklyn,” he said. “Anybody that knows my history knows that’s where I come from. I was happy to see the homie Bill get elected. I definitely—he was reaching out to me during the campaign. I try really to stay away from endorsing politicians during the campaigns. Because I’m—for a lot of reasons. You get into bigger [issues]. But I was rooting for him. And I was like ‘Okay, I voted for him and I’m glad he got elected.’ I hadn’t been in the city in enough time to really chop it up, but yeah I’mma go up to Gracie Mansion as soon as I get back and go knock on the door…I’m not gonna front it’s slightly scary for me because I come from counterculture. I grew up in a New York City where we didn’t fuck with the mayor like that. You know what I’m saying? So, it’s like this is a different mentality for me as an adult. As someone who people are looking at as someone in the community who’s been there for a minute. I’m not just some young rapper dude from Brooklyn.”
Talib Kweli’s interview with Out Da Box Radio comes weeks after the rapper released his Gravitas album. Released on December 15, the project includes guest appearances from Rah Digga, Big K.R.I.T., Raekwon, and a handful of other artists.