Well this came out of left field. Probably two of the most underrated MC’s to possibly ever grace a mic teaming up for a joint tape has all the writings for something fire. Talib Kweli & Styles P together on a project is a dream collaboration that I didn’t even dare to imagine. Styles P has low key been one of my favorite MC’s for quite some time now and we all know what Talib is capable of with a dope collab (Blackstar anyone?).
The last thing I wanted to hear from a Talib Kweli & Styles P album is trap/modern hip-hop beats. Thankfully there’s none of that on The Seven, only that hard NY boom-bap you’d expect to hear from the duo. It’s grimy, raw, NY street production from start to finish and the producers gave them plenty of room to lay lyrical waste to the soundscapes. It’s a short offering so you can take your picks when it comes to the songs, there’s not a bad one on here. There’s really not a whole lot that needs to be said about the production; it’s appropriately NY and it doesn’t get in the way of the real star of the show.
“Yea I got my third eye, wish I had my third ear Seventh sense, I got my sixth sense in third gear On a highway to hell, learn how to swerve fear 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”
I just knew I was going to be in for some extremely high-quality bars and they delivered that in spades. There’s not a bad verse here and their respective styles complement each other surprisingly well. The opening track’s title, “Poets and Gangstas” is a perfect summation of their dynamic as Kweli is more conscientious in his rhymes while Styles delivers that raw street wisdom I’ve come to love from him. What was surprising about the tape however, is just how socially conscious it actually is. That’s more Talib’s style but he definitely rubbed off on Styles in some way because I don’t think I’ve ever heard him rap about these topics as in depth as he does here. But he sounds just as good rapping about this as he does the more street stuff. They always grab some great features , and every guest delivers on the lyrical front. I wouldn’t be mad at more Talib Kweli & Styles P projects in the future.
Have you heard The Seven? What’d you think about it? Did you expect this from Talib Kweli & Styles P? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own reaction and rating for the album.
Talib Kweli & Styles P is an unexpected collaboration that brings that raw, grimy NY sound with a surprisingly conscientious narrative. There's some serious lyrical ability between the two of 'em and they deliver the bars in each and every verse. I wouldn't be mad at a couple more projects from the pair.