Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli Gives Props To Macklemore, But Says His Fans Don't Know About Hip Hop

(AllHipHop News) “People confuse Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with their audience,” says Talib Kweli. While speaking with DJ Whoo Kid, the New York emcee addressed the perception of Mack and Lewis as pop stars as compared to Hip Hop stars.

[ALSO READ: Hip Hop’s Anger Over Macklemore’s Grammy Win Is About Respect Not Race]

“When you hear people dissing them, they’re really dissing their audience,” adds Kweli, “They paid their dues in a big way. Of course being white helps, but their audience don’t know about Hip Hop.”

The former Black Star member also addresses Macklemore’s song “White Privilege.” Kweli names the track as one of his favorites by the Seattle rapper.

“[It’s] interesting to hear a white man’s perspective on his privilege,” says Kweli.

Kweli released his sixth solo album Gravitas in December. The project features appearances by Big K.R.I.T., Gary Clark, Jr., RES, Black Thought, Rah Digga, The Underachievers, and Raekwon.

[ALSO CHECK OUT: EXCLUSIVE: Talib Kweli and Raekwon at “Violation” Video Shoot]

Watch Talib Kweli talk about Macklemore, Gravitas, working with Jay Z, the Illuminati, Hip Hop autobiographies, Kanye West, and more in the video below.

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  • DJ7

    You cats are milking the hell out of this topic…The real heads knows what’s up, chopped it up and moved along…damn…All this other mumbo jumbo is just politricks

    • Live Well

      Exactly. None of the nominees were the “best” Hip Hop albums of the year anyway. It’s all commercialization so let it be what it be.

  • Reblogged this on HUEY mix wit RILEY.

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  • Black Jay

    Kweli is right. Most of the people aren’t mad at Macklemore. Not really. They’re mad at SOME White people’s perception of what is hip hop. I will be the first to say that Macklemore’s independent grind is amazing! That sh*t was so dope how he moved beyond the majors to put out his own sh*t! But that fact aside, he’s being put into a special packaging that most successful White rappers are placed in. “N*gga-free Packaging” is what I like to call it. Clean cut, sanitized (perceived) and good for the world. It ain’t Macklemore’s fault. IT ABSOLUTELY IS SOME OF WHITE AMERICA’S FAULT. A lot of them have been brainwashed and programmed to like what old white people and the corporations have told them to like. It’s the same reason racism exists. OLD WHITE PEOPLE that teach that sh*t to the youth. But times are changing. YOUNG WHITE PEOPLE are starting to catch on. I have hope that in the next 10 years hip hop will move beyond this.

    • Carlos

      your post and Kweli made me think about something. I agree with you but Why WE mad at the white audience, shouldnt we be mad at the black and hispanic audience who are not buying the albums but feel the right to dictate what is real hip hop?

      • Black Jay

        There aren’t enough of us bro. Look at the numbers.

      • AlbertoRipRon

        I had to re-read your shit and make sure I didn’t read stupidity. But I did. Most of those cornball Mack fans don’t know shit about hip hop and never will. It’s laughable to see Taylor Swift bobbing like she been down with the culture. That’s the problem here, if you weren’t with it when shit was real, why you acting all down with it now since it’s been commercialized? Blacks have a right to dictate because it comes from their culture. They are the originators. Not some cornball who was listening to Blink 182 and then next day they full on hip hop/rap. That shit isn’t respected nor is it cool.

  • Obi Won

    Maaaan, its really no reason to be mad at Macklemore’s audience or Macklemore.
    Its just show and proof that whites support each other, and i’ll just say “others” continue to hate each other with the crab mentality, whether its money involved or not.
    If Macklemore’s audience didn’t know hip hop they sure have their own perception of it NOW!!!

    • Black Jay

      I don’t agree brother. Blacks don’t control the media like that. We don’t control the corporations like that. It’s about power. It’s not about Whites supporting Whites. It’s about a small group of wealthy individuals dictating supply and demand. Whenever I hear anyone saying, “We don’t support real hip hop” it’s a blatant lie. We just don’t have the numbers in this country. Take out the old blacks along with the blacks with no money and the numbers just don’t add up. There are more Whites. Period and point blank. And they are the largest consumers. Not only that, they are the largest pool of consumers with money in their pockets for concerts and cds. So hip hop, along with every other genre, is at their mercy. And old white men are dictating this sh*t.

      • Slaughtr

        Right and I don’t know why some folks are sugar coating shyt with safe ass perspectives. hip hop is in danger as I said give it another 10 years and watch the more ridiculous culture stealing revolution really take form so hold on to your old school hip hop gems. It’s not about color in this instance but then again look at the destruction happening. Agree or disagree hip hop has problems.

      • king joe

        Brother I wouldn’t give it 10 years!!! the change has already happened! look back just a few years ago when hip hop went gothic with all the dark images in these videos. the devil worship that you see in the symbols these videos have now is astounding! hip hop isn’t now where near the same as it was 10 years ago, and will never be the same two years from now!

      • Black Jay

        I feel you on that. And that is why you have the UNDERGROUND. Success or not, the strength of THE UNDERGROUND will show how strong or weak hip hop is.

        That same formula can be applied to anything artistic. Art, sports, racing, skateboarding…. THE UNDERGROUND is the foundation. If you have a weak ass underground, the art form will die.

        As far as the stupid sh*t you’re seeing….

        Hip Hop is just changing. We as a people have to take the GOOD AND THE BAD so that we can see what type of being hip hop ultimately morphs into.

        Think of it like this. Although I hated everything this dude stood for, WE ABSOLUTELY NEEDED VANILLA ICE. If you don’t have Vanilla Ice with his dumb lyrics, you don’t have Eminem with his dope lyrics. You don’t have MC HAMMER acting stupid with money? You don’t get a Jay Z making power moves and stacking millions.

        Hip Hop isn’t dieing. Hip Hop is transforming. I welcome the change. And anyone that loves hip hop should welcome that change too.


        I dig brother, but think back to when hip hop use samples, producer was creating new sound with old school music. Hip hop sales was huge. It’s the beats man. it’s soul-less, no feelings to it. Most big selling record back in the day had some kind of sample in it. IMO. I agree hip hop changing, but the instruments need to come back strong. Producers taking short cut, drum machine, pro tool, computers equal no emotions, thus no soul. Scarface said it ‘ What happen to the Soul’.

      • Black Jay

        I can’t front. I’ve been thoroughly disappointed by the music coming out of “producers” nowadays. The producers were known for innovation and taking music down a new and different path.
        Now? That sh*t is absent like a motherf*cka! I cosign the hell outta that!

      • Obi Won

        I feel you, I guess that’s why we hold on and take underground hip hop so serious. I didn’t think to look at it with the control of supply and demand & your absolutely right. I would’ve NEVER known Mack was an independent artist the way he blew up, same with Mac Miller. My question is, if we look at it in a wealthy has the control, where is Diddy, LaFace, Jigga, etc… I’m sure they have enough to provide distribution for some of the artist. Imagine if we weren’t in an age where downloads reign supreme, the numbers Mac Miller, Macklemore and Eminem would do. Those three alone would blow every major artist in our history books that went diamond out the water. That’s what makes it confusing, back then there WAS support, no matter where u were from EVERYONE bought Scarface, EVERYONE bought Pac, EVERYONE bought Big and those three rocked with each other at some point. Now its South music is doing this, NY music not rocking, West coast is getting its footing, that divide and conquer is a bitch.

      • Black Jay

        You kickin’ some real sh*t right there. It’s definitely “divide and conquer”. 100 percent. But it’s not divide and conquer with South/East Coast/West Coast. That type of stuff has always been good for the revenue aspect. Maybe not for the imaging, but it’s been all in all good for hip hop business.

        But the divide and conquer aspect I’m speaking of us BLACK VS WHITE. Hip hop is a way to bridge the gap between different cultures. And some of us are too dumb to see that a few OLD WHITE FOLKS and OLD BLACK FOLKS don’t want that to happen. Some people are perfectly comfortable with ‘LIFE CIRCA 1940’.

        But the pendulum is swinging back the other direction in 2 ways.

        1. America is becoming crazy brown. So ultimately you will see the Old White men with the power to control the supply and demand currents, die off and a part of their belief system will die too.

        2. White youth are getting more clear eyed. I’m not saying that they are dummy-free. But you got some White people that understand the culture. They understand the bullsh*t that’s being manipulated. They see things differently than those old cats and so that “hold n*ggas down” perspective is dieing out.

        In reference to the Black People with “weight” being more supportive of hip hop…. I can’t really get mad at them. They have families and other invisible responsibilities that we don’t know about. It’s admirable for them to support, but at the end of the day, they are HUMANS before they are HIP HOP ARTISTS. AND they already contributed a big chunk of their lives to the art form. I can’t ask for more than that. Diddy and Jay have to decide where to exert their influence. I can’t be mad at them for moving differently than what I want them to.

        But the world is changing…. We just have to hope that Hip Hop survives long enough to take advantage of that change.

      • Obi Won

        For the sake of the art homie, I hope your right, I for one don’t want to have to keep running back to the golden era, as representation of our culture. It is changing, but things like this Macklemore rattles cages.

      • Black Jay

        It definitely did. It wasn’t nothing beautiful about that sh*t.

      • ursocalledgod

        REAL SPILL

      • AlbertoRipRon

        Ha, you mean they are the largest biters since by far whites don’t have no culture. They always steal from other cultures and then incorporate into their own.

      • Black Jay


      • AlbertoRipRon

        I was agreeing with what you said, weirdo.

      • Black Jay

        I didn’t say that White people steal everything and I didn’t say they don’t have culture. You own those comments homie. Not me.

      • AlbertoRipRon

        I was adding to your comment you dumb ass. All that intellect and if it isn’t coming from your own mouth you don’t understand it. You dudes are so idiots homie.

  • artcryme99

    my question is if AHH is black owned why dont they have a section supporting underground hiphop and breaking new acts who actually have a message besides getting drunk with strippers and shooting each other?

    • Yohance

      We do. It’s called “The Breeding Ground” section. Not to mentioned AHH has run news stories on Freddie Gibbs, Madlib, Quelle Chris, Big Pooh, and Jizzle in the last 2 days. The question is why don’t “real Hip Hop” fans ever read and share those articles so the artists that you want to see/hear get more exposure?

      • artcryme99

        I go to your breeding ground today and I see trinidad james and migos. The guys you listed above are already well established and signed to labels, if you didnt cover them we’d be questioning you even more than we do now. How about doing more than the bare minimum before getting all indignant and asking for a pat on the back. How about using your platform to break NEW ARTISTS – not on the basis of hype, buzz, label cosign or marketing $. No diss to gangster rap and street hop, but that shit is well represented 100 times over, how about a little section for people who want to hear something a little deeper. Keep your cash cows, no prob, but how about a tab all the way at the end after “Community” , called “The Message”, featuring thoughtful hiphop, where artists are featured on the quality of their music and nothing else. I nominate EDOGZ to moderate The Message section, and pick out dope tracks from artists you would NEVER EVER hear of otherwise. You see there are many artists out there who make beautiful, uncompromising hiphop that will never sell out because we are not trying to make a career out of it. Edogz set it off with some Tony Moon and roll from there. Tox out…

      • DJ7


      • Black Jay


      • Judah Nazayar

        EDOGZ?= i support this..

  • ursocalledgod

    reall hip hop and real hip hop artist will NEVER be represented by the bullshit grammys. never have never will. i dont know why everybody is up in arms. sure they will put some solid acts on the ballot but in the end its just the most POPular artist of the year who will get it. simple as that. they should change the name to the POP awards. thats mostly what it is anyway. real spill.

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  • John Q. Public

    Kweli knows Macklemore’s audience well because he and Krit did the US tour with Macklemore. I went to a Macklemore concert to see Big Krit and Kweli and the audience had pretty much no clue who Krit was, Kweli had a lil better response but still most ppl had no clue who either of them was.
    That said hes on the money when he says Macklemore is hated on more for his audience then his music. With the exception of Thrift Shop and White Walls The Heist isn’t bad. But most ppl going to a Macklemore concert are there for Thrift Shop

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  • ihatefaggots

    Muslim respecting a homosexual smh.

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