What’s on our iPod: Talib Kweli – Ear Drum

On his third major release, Brooklyn, N.Y., native Talib Kweli has reached a new plateau of beautiful hip-hop. While most rap albums these days only have two or three good songs (if that) on them, “Ear Drum” doesn’t contain a single track worth skipping over, due in part from the all-star production team that includes Madlib, Just Blaze, will.i.am and Kanye West, among others. It delivers pure smart-hop, as Talib raps about current issues plaguing society, politics, the current state of music and hip-hop, as well as several feel-good tracks about “country cousins” and getting “in the mood.”

Key tracks:
  • Hostile Gospel Pt. 1 (“I call these rappers baby seals because they club you death.”)
  • Country Cousins
  • In The Mood (produced by Kanye West)
  • Listen!!!

NOTEWORTHY: The Hatchet also recommends…

M.I.A. – Kala

Sri Lankan rapper/singer/songwriter/producer/artist’s new album brings big beats, rhymes and plenty of cute, danceable fun. Key Tracks: Boyz, $20, Come Around (feat. Timbaland)

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