Talib Kweli is a Brooklyn hip hop artist known for his strong activism against police brutality and racial matters.
He is also a known speaker and often visits high schools, colleges and community centers.
He was born as Talib Kweli Green on October 3, 1975 in Brooklyn, New York, United States.
His parents are both highly educated: his mother Brenda is a college professor of English language and his father works in the University’s administration.
Parents were always respecting their roots so they often talked about Africa in the house, they celebrated Kwanzaa and they learned their children to always be true and not to judge people by their race.
He has a younger brother Jamal who is a professor on Columbia University and who continued the way of his mother in educating children.
Talib’s parents always tried to keep their children interested in education so Talib is also well educated.
After high school (where he met Native Toungess Pose collective who used Afrocentric lyrics), he enrolled Cheshire Academy and after that he studied at New York University, learning about experimental theater.
When he turned 21 he appeared on an album made by a group called “Mood”. He also collaborated with DJ Hi-Tek.
He decided to start a collaboration with Mos Def, a Brooklyn rapper and they formed a hip hop duo named “Black Star”.
Hi-Tek, a DJ whom Kweli already worked with, produced their first and only album which was released in 1998. It was called “Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star”.
The album was a success amongst critics since it offered a new beat and new Afrocentric lyrics. It was original and honest so it reached a very wide audience.
He made “Train of Thought” album with Hi-Tek in 2000. Throughout years, Hi-Tek became one of his closest friends and music partners. He often helped in the production of his songs.
In 2000 he and Mos Def organized “Hip Hop For Respect” event where they spoke against police brutality, especially angry about a death of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed African American man who was shot by police officers 41 times.
The artist gathered 41 rappers to collaborate with them on an EP in memory of Amadou. Some of them were Owen Brown, Tame One, Rock, 88-Keyz, Kool G. Rap, etc.
Why 41? Because of the 41 gun shots Amadou received by the policemen.
One year later, both Kweli and Mos Def, joined artists on an album “Red Hot + Indigo” published by the Red Hot Organization. They raised money for fighting AIDS and raising awareness. This album was a tribute to Duke Ellington, a great American pianist and a composer.
Duke Ellington was known for his awareness and love towards his roots so he was a great example which showed how to live in balance with your roots.
In 2002, they contributed the release of “Red Hot + Root”, this time in a memory of Fela Kuti, a Nigerian Musician.
He decided to release his debut solo album named “Quality”. In 2002, Kanye West was one of the producers on his album.
In 2004, Kanye West asked him to appear on a single called “Get ‘Em High” from “The College Dropout”. He was a guest at “Chappelle’s show” three times, in 2003/2004.
He joined Beastie Boys on their 2004 tour. He was their opening act from time to time and he was featured on a few of their songs.
In 2004, he performed again at Dave Chapelle’s Party. At the end of 2004 he released his 2nd album called “The Beautiful Struggle”. It was featured by The Neptures, Kanye West and Just Blaze.
In a known MTV’s documentary TV series, he joined Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon on their trip to Tanzania where they visited the “Sereugeti Plain”.
In 2005 he launched his own record label called Blacksmith Records. He released a mixtape on his own, deciding everything about it, from A-Z.
In 2006, he signed a contract with Warner Bros. He gave his voice in a videogame “Contents Under Pressure”.
He was invited on 2006 MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out” show which was very popular at that time.
In 2006 he released a lot of singles free online through an album called “Liberation”.
In 2007, he released his new third album called “Eardrum” and it went as high as No.2 on the Billboard 200 Chart after the release. After that, he released a mixtape named “Focus” which was based on collaborative songs he made earlier in the past.
Kwelu was amongst first artists to visit the Yue Festival in China, next to Faithless.
He appeared in MTV’s “MADE” in 2008.
He made a mixtape with Res and Graph Nobel called “Party Robot”. It was released under “Idle Warship”, and it was free for download.
In 2010, Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek made a collaboration on the album named “Revolutions per Minute” and it came exactly 10 years after their first album.
His 4th album was named “Gutter Rainbows” and was released in 2010.
In 2011 his single was featured in the film “Beat the World”. The same year he founded a new label called “Javotti Media”.
His 5th album was called “Prisoner of Conscience”. Kendrick Lamar and Nelly were featured on this album.
In 2014 he released “Gravitas”, an album featured by Raekwon and Black Thought.
His last mixtape was “Awful People Are Great At Parties”, in 2016.
His 8th solo album is called “Radio Silence” and it came one year after. The album was a huge success because he stayed true to his music and descent.
On this album he invited Waka Flocka Flame, Robert Glasper, Maurice Brown and other artist he respects.
He deals with issues of racial inequality and domestic abuse on the album and even shared a song based on a true event about a girl who killed an abusive figure in her life.
He married a beautiful female DJ named Eque in 2009. They have been dating since 2004 and she often collaborates with him.
She is very talented, beautiful and before becoming a DJ she attended Texas University and had a basketball scholarship. She didn’t pursue the sports career but she decided to do her favorite second thing – play music.
He has two children with Darcel Turner, a son Amani and a daughter Diani. Darcel Turner is a female author with whom he was in a very long relationship.
He was called out in 2016 because of his anti-semitism statements on Twitter (he has over 1 million followers on Twitter).
Full name: Talib Kweli Green
Date of birth: October 3, 1970
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Net Worth: $3 million