Talib Kweli Reflects on Career at Noisemakers Event [With Exclusive Video]

Continuing with his Noisemakers series, Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg sat down with Talib Kweli last night (October 21). The event, which was held at the 92nd Street Y located in downtown Manhattan, gave the roughly one hundred attendees the chance to hear about the Brooklyn MC’s career from the man himself.

Daru Jones and the Noise helped the evening get underway as they played live versions of Kweli’s songs before he and Rosenberg hit the stage for the one-on-one sit down. The intimate setting of the venue gave it a personal feel, something mirrored by the honesty in the wordsmith’s answers, anecdotes and memories throughout the night.

Kweli recalled stories dating from his teenage years to the more immediate past. He discussed how coming from an academic family where both his parents were professors influenced both him personally and his content musically. He then looked back on the days before he broke onto the rap scene, when he was working in clubs, and remembered smoking a blunt with Biggie and Tupac and being in a cypher with Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Busta Rhymes.

Stories about the two groups he has been involved with—Reflection Eternal with Hi-Tek and Black Star with Mos Def—also surfaced. He called “Respiration” “probably one of my favorite records I’ve ever done,” named Mos as one of his closest friends (“our mothers hang out,” he said), and spoke on working with J. Dilla and the influence that Slum Village had on his style. Other topics that came up during the hour-and-a-half talk included his days with Rawkus Records, his early experiences with Common and Kanye West [watch below], his relationship with John Forte and Jay-Z [watch below], and more.

Noisemakers, which was on hiatus over the summer, is set to return as a bimonthly series this fall. Past guests have included DJ Premier, Raekwon, Q-Tip and ?uestlove. Reflection Eternal’s next album, Revolutions Per Minute, is slated for release later in 2009. -Adam Fleischer

Kweli speaks on Jay-Z cosign.

On meeting Kanye.

His favorite Kanye tour stories.