Lunch Time Vibes: A Conversation with Talib Kweli and 9th Wonder
Happy Thursday Luvs!
Yesterday V8ga, Allison, and I attended the "Talking Music: Talib Kweli & 9th Wonder in Conversation" event hosted at Duke University. It was an intimate conversation about the journey of Talib Kweli's Hip Hop lyricist career and how his passion for politics in today's society has influenced his views in music. On top of that the lunch was absolutely delicious! As we entered the room academics, artists, bloggers, students, and cultural enthusiasts alike listened to two of Hip Hop's iconic figures chat about the early 2000s. Grammy Award Winning Producer and DJ 9th Wonder is a sought after college lecturer with currently two appointments, one being at Duke University and the other at North Carolina Central University. His timeless music from artists like Erykah Badu, Common, Jay-Z, Drake, and Destiny's Child are just a few recording impressions he has made for Hip Hop culture. Recently, he was elected onto the Executive Board of the latest museum to the Smithsonian Institute, National Museum for African American History and Culture, and NAACP's National Ambassador for Hip Hop Relations and Popular Culture. He's originially from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
As the talk continued we were captivated by the musical journey of the accomplished lyricist, Talib Kweli. Hearing his stories about becoming a member of Black Star with Mos Def or listening to 9th Wonder's music for the first time on a car ride to Waffle House had us almost in tears of laughter. His escapades of going to Common's shows around the US to meet him and one night in San Diego, CA his moment happened. Just like that he meet Common on a tour bus and was in the studio with him a few months later in Chicago where Common and Mos Def were performing together. After an Amtrak ride from NY to Chicago to see the show that night afterwards they went to the studio. The beat he wanted to use did not make the cut due to a unanimous vote even though he had the beat for like 8 months with the intent for Common to rap on it but the song was recorded with Hi-Tech's "Respiration" beat instead. Good call said the audience and 9th Wonder. LOL.
Now reflecting on this epic moment of enlightening conversation I'm left with a few life lessons I wanted to share. First, never stop dreaming. Talib Kweli's ambitious spirit led him to meet one of his favorite rappers that he wanted to make music with. You never know how close you are to your "big break" or moment when your in the presence of your favorite people whose work you admire. Second, invest in your craft. Talib Kweli spoke about how he would focus on his writing and dedicating his time in the studio. That takes sacrifice, passion, and a love for what you do to be so giving to your craft. Lastly, be purpose driven in what you do. Talib Kweli talked about how he will always relevant and with over a million followers on Twitter he uses his digital platform to speak out as an activist about disparities in our society.
"It felt like the right place at the right time and it validated what I was doing. He's one of my favorites and biggest inspirations because what he has give to the game it can't be measured."
- Music reference - "Moment of Clarity" - Jay-Z's Black Album
Check out below a few moments captured with The Lux Blog Team!
Dr. Allison Mathews with Hip Hop Lyricist & Activist Talib Kweli