Talib Kweli earned his recognition back in 1997 through his collaboration Mos Def. He is someone who is always paying attention to the hip-hop scene. Whether it is complimentary or not, his opinion on hip-hop counts. Recently, Kweli shared his honest take on Eminem.
The NYC rapper hosts the “People’s Party With Talib Kweli” show on Uproxx. His latest guest was Palestinian-Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer Belly. During the show, Belly cites Eminem as one of his biggest influences.
Belly talked about Eminem’s sublime rhyming schemes. He further reiterates Em’s impact on the culture and the ability to make things heard by the wider audience. These comments made Talib share his own opinion on Eminem.
The funny thing about Eminem is… I don’t know the names of bigger Eminem records, the ones he has with Rihanna and certain other records he has, but these records are played on the radio all the time… But what’s funny to me about Eminem is, it doesn’t matter how pop the record is (he has a lot of pop records with pop production, right?). It does not matter how pop the record is, he, as an MC, is always trying to impress MCs.”
“So sometimes, I just be honest, it sounds out of place to me. Sometimes the record is so pop, and whatever the hook is – he’s just barring them out, and he’s going so hard! It’s like that EPMD record on the Nas’ joint. It was like, yo, okay, EPMD is rapping, Nas is rapping, everybody understood the assignment.”
“Eminem’s like, “No, no, no. I have to outdo my verse form last year on the last feature you heard me from. So now I’m just gonna rap!” And I’m like, wow! I can’t imagine having that amount of pressure every time you’re getting in the fucking booth. You gotta come like that! You gotta do the voices, you gotta do… He’s always trying to outdo whatever he did the last time. But I guess that’s why he is who he is. It’s like the song don’t even matter. The chart position, or if it makes sense on that beat, that rhyme… His standard is: they gonna respect these bars, though. And that’s it.
Talib’s in-depth philosophy about Em’s craft is truly enlightening. This has got to be on of the most honest takes on the Rap God’s music. Talib made his point clear with proper respect and understanding.
The trait many people name as one of Eminem’s most admirable qualities interestingly makes Talib uneasy. There’s no doubt that Marshall always brings on the best game, the best verse, does the best he can. There is this constant urge of outdoing himself and staying the best in the game that keeps him going.
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H/T to Eminem.Pro for quote.