After dropping his friend-collective album piece five months ago, one of my favorite Rappers alive, Mr. Talib Kweli pops out another one. A 10-track “Awful People Are Great At Parties” follower contains the same number of tracks as its official title. “The Seven” is this time a collaborative project between Talib and David Styles aka Styles P, D-Block`s very own.
And the rest of the LOX crew is there too! Fans already got the chance to hear their joint jam “Nine Point Five” feat. Sheek and Jada with third on-track member being NIKO IS. This new young force is Talib`s freshest “Javotti Media” label signee coming from Rio de Janeiro.
The Lucky Number Sleven
Looking back at “The Seven”, Kewli calls up a few more out-of-bound amazing mic owners including Common, Rapsody, Chris Rivers and Vic Orena. And Mr. Greene doesn`t waste a single free moment after it all. “The Seven Tour” where Talib and Styles P get a third hand of help, K`Valentine starts April 21st. ATL is the opening city, with Brooklyn having a three-day-pleasure and Katowice having the role of closing the short live act. But, before all that, here`s what the album`s first impressions sound like.
“The Seven” Official Tracklist
- Poets and Gangstas
- Brown Guys
- Nine Point Five f. Sheek Louch, Jadakiss and NIKO IS
- In the Field
- Teleprompters f. Common and Vic Orena
- Let It Burn f. Rapsody and Chris Rivers
- Last Ones
Behind Seventh Illusion
“Welcome to the conscious of the nation on hard beats
I rap to my heart beat
Keepin’ time as my feet hit the concrete
These dark streets blacker than the color of charred beef
The dark meat falling off like the flesh of a zombie
This freedom, that they dangle in front of us like some car keys”.
That`s Seven`s Talib verse 1, gliding through the easy, smooth beat of clean NY Hip Hop. Deep catchy bass line groove hugs your belly warm. And just reversing a few steps, the intro tells more about the album with ending lines of wisdom: “The Seven knows that nothing is exactly as it seems and that reality is often hidden behind illusions”.
But wait until you get to the hook part. The most intelligently addictive wordsmith example, which on the other hand really isn`t that much suprising, given the Talib Kweli`s more than incredible mind skills. It says:
“Now that’s that shit that you ain’t know that you need
The gangstas and the poets, yeah we know what it be
Plantin’ these fields of reality, we sowin’ the seeds
There’s no games like Atari, cause we not playin’ with niggas
Now that’s that shit that you ain’t know that you need
Grow somethin’, smoke somethin’ cause we rolling the trees
I got the ghost as a quarterback, he throw it to me
It’s no games like Serani, cause we not playin’ with niggas”.
Really bulls eye Seven illusional opener.
Brown Sugar Mindset
The next joint is opened by second main author. Styles P whips the bars open on “Brown Guys” elegantly following the same smooth routine of typical New York Jazzy-sampled beat. Styles explains everything in the beginning:
“I am a brown guy
But don’t call me nigga, please
Nigga please, you see that white boy, that’s a nigga b
Nigga ain’t a color, it’s a mindstate, you diggin’ me?”.
This theme dwells on the racism state of thinking and living obviously. P and Kweli try to break out of the stereotyped ways. T also reflects to police brutality, pinching up the Black Lives Matter segment maybe. Talib then switches back to racism, touching on the religious topics, explaining hat extremism is bad no matter the reason.
And that is the biggest reason why he is my no. 1 idol. He`s signature work is transforming his passion towards culture into a picture so big, that has ability of changing the entire world. With mainly changing the Hip Hop or showcasing it throughout the causes it started developing viraly in the first place. To bring unity, peace, wisdom and freedom.
In The Lox collabo “Nine Point Five” guys talk about their careers, their legacy with Talib still hanging on them real life human problems like:
“We planting seeds for the trees, we need to breathe on the planet
Indeed we really take the planet for granted
Bulldoze the granite at Standing Rock
We plundered and we wonder why the planet hot
Made in His image, are we worshipping the man or not?
Get an uncomfortable feeling every time I hear “Planet Rock”
Disappointed in the leadership, hand to God
Evidence is more than the images the cameras shot”.
Jada preaches some more on the man`s violence saying:
“No more tears, right now no more years
And we could throw a million protests, no one cares
‘Cause we just get all out of character and throw some chairs
Eventually they burn us out and tell us “go somewhere”
with continuing self-criticism, showing his redemption in turning around his life for better:
“Yea, personally I got my bread as a crook
But once I finish with the work I dip my head in a book”.
Styles P rips the paper out writing down something like this:
“It’s deep talk or street talk
It’s war talk or it’s peace talk
Get the hemp paper, tear the leaf off
Spoke like you woke but you actin’ all sleep dog
The wolves give a fuck about sheep talk
The rich give a fuck about cheap talk
How figuring angles, ways to knock the beast off
This is Satan’s house but we plannin’ to break the lease off”.
I mean, the whole University of knowledge is created here with this Seven piece. Wonderful job.
Intensely Dramatic Field
In thriller-like dark piano keyment, some deep Rap enigmatics are implemented. While the broken key pieces drop down on them, Talib and Styles rock the bars off the hooks. Main theme here is freedom and what better sample to use then the one from Malkom X`s speeches. The hook says: “If we ain’t got freedom, we ain’t got free will” and portraits the whole meaning behind “The Seven”.
The intro Malkom X insert for “In The Field” was a nice pitch, but the outro did a much better work:
“I’m a field negro, just as the slave master of that day used Tom, the house negro, to keep the field negroes in check the same old slave master today has negroes who are nothing but modern Uncle Tom’s to keep you and me in check, keep us passive and peaceful
It’s like when you go to the dentist and the man is gon’ take your tooth. you gon’ bite him when he start pulling, so they squirt some stuff in your jaw called Novocaine to make you think they not doing anything to you. So you sit there and cause you got all that Novocaine in your jaw you suffer, peacefully”.
Another immensely crucial artistic and anti-artificial message for human existence.
Reading Between The Teleprompter`s Lines
Common and Little Vic join the next single to collaborate and elaborate on the “Teleprompters” fix up. The beat atmosphere is very moody and blurred with rocky, well-hidden distorted guitars. Boys talk some more about crooked media industry and what she hides behind her teleprompting bars. Common takes on cops violence once more. Hook is very odd in singing interpretation, yet since the whole piece is sewed in that line, it doesn`t bothers that much.
Ashes Of Rap
Second star-collabo mirage was made with wonderful Rapsody and Chris Rivers. In the slick, powerful and hope-rising sparkling instrumental sampling, keys and crashes heat up the energy of the Mcing. Being and staying real to yourself is what drives the whole “let It Burn” deed.
Rapsody merge sides with the males teaching about striving and succeeding in creating a better versions of one selves with each new day. Very powerful touch here.
What`s Left Of The Craziness
“The Seven”`s closure and absolute winner of the most slick tracks is “Last Ones”. A month ago the two rappers put out an official video for it and I can`t really decide which is better. Listening, watching or reading the lyrics on it. But as Talib being my realest most defining rappers alive, I will finish this usual astonishment with his wording with:
“Paint it like I’m JJ, for real I’m not for play play
If I work then I get paid, they whip them slaves like the nae nae
I’m smashin’ ’em if you askin’ ’em what’s happenin’ and they say
I’m original, you a re-run, Dwayne hey hey hey
Do the rise got my squad information like what bae say
I seen my brother you got to be more specific when you say bae
A spark like a melee, feelings I don’t placate
Give a fuck what Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney say say say
Fuck the KKK, respect the family, me and you got a play date
I’ll send you to hell and Satan will be your playmate
O-K-K, like Lil Scrappy but pay attention to what they say
Sound like some old “catch me on payday” type niggas who like to get missin’
Nah, pay what you want (cough it up), but you ain’t the homie, now you don’t know me
Hip-hop on my shoulders like the demons or the sheriff
Or the stick you use for measurin’, way too sick for medicine”.
Paragraphing The Ultimate Outcome
Kweli`s and Styles`s “The Seven” really makes seeing, hearing, reading, believing. It was dictated and brushed so tidy and carefully, building a never ending great power of human mind. It`s more than an wave book, way more than a Hip Hop Culture playground. “The Seven” blazes off like a Universe`s black hole, giving and taking at the same time. Eating the bad “junk” and keeping the balance in the world around us. I can`t think of a better way to describe the feelings “Seven” has left behind.
Its star tail dusted of all that negative energy and rose them sleepy peaceful soul threads to neat up another ball of ultimate love, peace and therefore success. Its ray of light resonates on the 9./10 height. This is easily the “Collective Album Of The Year” snatcher.