Back in April, Talib Kweli was spotted leaving the White House alongside J. Cole, Pusha T and Busta Rhymes.
While several media outlets reported President Barack Obama caught up with some of the biggest names in hip-hop and R&B to discuss “My Brother’s Keeper,” the Brooklyn emcee reveals that the conversation went much deeper.
In a recent interview with Acton Entertainment, the F**k the Money rapper unpacks the content of his private meeting with POTUS before weighing in on Yasiin Bey’s retirement, sharing the backstory to his feature on A Tribe Called Quest’s We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service and announcing his forthcoming album with Styles P. Peep highlights below:
On meeting with President Obama:
“The purpose of that meeting at the White House in the Roosevelt Room with Obama and a bunch of rap artists was to discuss criminal justice reform and Obama’s commitment to mentorship programs and how artists could use social media, in particular, to spread information about these things.”
On Yasiin Bey’s retirement:
“I went to see him in South Africa a few months back, and he did tell me he was retiring. He did say that to me, but he has said that to me before, so I don’t know how serious [he is]. I personally think, from what I know about him, that he is such a lover of music and creating music that he will always create music, and he will always find ways to get music out to the people. So to me, that’s not a real retirement. I think what he’s doing is retiring from the music business, but I think he did that a long time ago. I think he did that years ago so the announcement to me is just whatever, he’s just saying ‘I’ma be me.'”
On working with A Tribe Called Quest on We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service:
“A Tribe Called Quest is one of my favorite groups that I grew up admiring and listening to, and I’m blessed to know Q-Tip professionally, and a few years back I had asked him to do a song on my album. But he’s a perfectionist, so he’s like come to my house, and I came to his house, and we’ve been working on this one song for a long time. Then Phife Dawg passed away, and I kind of stopped asking him about the song. But then I ran into him, and he brought the song [up]…I came over [to his house] and Jarobi was over there, and they were working on the Tribe Called Quest album.”
On joint album with Styles P:
“Me and Styles P, we got a situation. We got an album together. It’s called The Seven, and we’re doing a tour for that album–The Seven Tour that starts in January. I think that album will come out before my next solo album…For some reason, whenever I get on a song with the Ghost, it just feels right.”
Catch the full interview below.