Eight months after dropping his fifth solo LP, Prisoner Of Conscious via EMI, hip-hop wordsmith Talib Kweli returns with its follow-up, Gravitas.
The album includes names like Q-Tip, OhNo, Lord Quest, Rich Kidd when it comes to production and is available for pre-order now. Why so far in advance? The two-and-half months leading up to the release will give Kweli time to try out a new social experiment.
When fans pre-order Gravitas via his KweliClub, they will be buying it directly from Kweli, or the way that Kweli puts it -- "no middleman." Doing it alone, Kweli hopes to build a direct relationship with his fanbase. "Who needs this industry when we have each other," wrote Kweli on his Kweliclub.com website. "The technology exists for me to have this relationship with the fans, and vice versa."
Kweli's ambitions are grand. What he hopes to accomplish with KweliClub is a fan database that allows him to look up every member on his iPhone and actually know who they are on a personal level. "This is the dream I've always had," he writes. "To be able to actually recognize you at the meet & greet. To be able to actually know how you were feeling yesterday because I'm following you on Instagram and Twitter. That why I've started this club."
Kweli tends to be a man of his word, so we have to believe him when he says that "most people are only worried about sales figures and sales volume" but that he is "worried about you -- the people whose money make my dream possible."
Gravitas is due Dec. 15. Good luck, man. #kweliclub