Talib Kweli Talks Secret Societies, DMX, & Macklemore/Kendrick Lamar

(AllHipHop News) Talib Kweli has been involved in the rap game for nearly 20 years, so the Brooklyn emcee has seen and experienced a lot concerning the music industry. Kweli spoke with Montreality about several Hip Hop relevant topics including the media’s portrayal of DMX, the Macklemore vs. Kendrick Lamar Grammy debate, and Hip Hop’s obsession with secret societies.

[ALSO READ: Talib Kweli To Release Physical Copies Of “Gravitas” With Exclusive Interactive Experience]

“I think the biggest lie, as far as the Hip Hop community’s world, is that the ruling class is some sort of cartoonish villain based organization like Cobra Command,” says Kweli. “What the ruling class is doing  – on a real level to maintain power  – is sinister enough you don’t have to make up no boogeyman stories about it.”

The “Violations” rapper also addresses fellow rhymer DMX. While acknowledging X’s achievements in music as inspirational, revealing he worked in the studio with the Yonkers native, and calling him “one of the lights of our community,” Kweli also expresses his belief the press took advantage of X’s troubles.

[ALSO CHECK OUT: Talib Kweli Ft. Raekwon “Violations”]

“I definitely think DMX is somebody who has been exploited by the media,” Kweli says. “He’s clearly someone who’s had a rough life and has some pathologies and demons from when he first came out. Those things were packaged and marketed as something to be sold, but then when the fall out happens you get famous from that type of pathology.”

Kweli once again shared his views on this year’s Grammy’s awards results. Kweli states that no one should have been surprised by Macklemore’s win over Kendrick Lamar, because the Grammys are based on name recognition. He then offers suggestions to change that dynamic such as more people joining the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, making “great Hip Hop”, or purchasing more copies of artist’s albums.

“The thing I think is misdirected is when you start blaming the artist, and you start blaming Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for their success instead recognizing the blueprint that they put out there for every indie artist to be successful,” adds Kweli.

[ALSO READ: Talib Kweli Gives Props To Macklemore, But Says His Fans Don’t Know About Hip Hop]

Watch Talib Kweli’s Montreality interview below.

  • Reblogged this on HUEY mix wit RILEY.

  • Mr. Moor

    2nd article i’ve seen of this dude dismissing the ‘elite’ brainwashing the mass’ through the take over of the media and entertainment industry. just because nobody invited him to the eyes wide shut party..don’t mean it ain’t true. Yo Kwa, stick to sh% u know like rap pin bout BK. leave the spiritual academic work for those cut out for it. U not. and you Know thisss Maaaaan!!!

    • Jonathan Bacher

      i d i i o t. That’s probably how you’d spell the word.

    • Pierre Elliott


    • Blaq Gavin

      all media is brainwashing, you self righteous pseudo- intellectual ass nigga. Go watch your damn kids…

    • Immortal

      What elite brainwashing are you talking about? Who are you speaking of? People who think they are in the “know” or “righteous” are actually the ones being “controlled” by the millions of conspiracy theories that run rampant through America. Everything has to have an ulterior motive, some scheme to justify the madness, or someone holding someone back. It’s not enough to see things for what they are, folks just HAVE to make a mountain out of a simple molehill.

  • Mr. Moor

    True 99% of the youtube vids about illuminati and music industry are complete BullS%#! this is the

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  • Black Jay

    Cosign Talib. I’ve been saying this sh*t all along. N*ggas need to come off of that Illuminati bullsh*t and worry about raising Black families and protecting themselves against poverty.

    • Immortal

      Lets talk about a real secret society that isn’t a secret at all. The Mensa society is a society of extremely smart people, geniuses in fact. Why promote a secret society that has more unknowns than knowns whether that be by design or otherwise? Why not promote a known society where kids are working with IQ’s in the mid to high 100’s? Where most are known for academic and scientific minds than some illuminati that so called exists in the shadows yet controls “everything” or nothing at all? Is it too bad to ask our kids to be extremely smart rather than ball players with the newest Jordan’s or kleats? He was also right that we shouldn’t be mad that Mac n Lewis won. You bring in new blood to a tired room and everyone will take notice. What should’ve caused more uproar is if someone from the tired rank and file won. That would’ve validated the fact that rap is dead as a doorknob. I’m not so sure buying more of an artists records would’ve helped, being that record sales are slumping and the only one that benefits is the artist and record company. X as much as I’m a fan of his brought his situation on himself. There was no excuses for his behavior, and no one can make an acceptable one. X needs to cleanse himself of himself. Until he can do that, he’ll never rise above the silliness that plagues him in his day to day life.

      • John Q. Public

        that’s a long ass comment man…
        Just saw on the news 2day there is a 3yr old girl who just got a MENSA card and has an IQ of 130.
        Katt Williams claims to be a MENSA member as well

      • Arrie Mental Woodard

        Katt gotta be lying but then again he might not be… he acts crazy enough that he just might be a genius hahaha… you know those really smart people are slightly off in the brain lol

      • Black Jay

        About education….I’m feeling you on that. I’ve taken several trips overseas and other countries are kicking America’s ass when it comes to education. And the funny thing is, our government will say f*ck our schools because they’re too difficult to fix and the politics are too deep to change. But then they go overseas and recruit those cats. We need a system that doesn’t reward stupidity with outlandish NBA and NFL contracts but instead rewards educational performance. We need a system that tries to educate all. But unfortunately, that will never happen. High IQs start at home with mom and dad. And we all know what has happened to most American families. Divorce or some single parenting sh*t. And our number one God in America is money. So that sh*t will never change.

        I don’t agree with you on Macklemore. As it pertains to skill, his album just wasn’t the best. That’s not to hate on him, it’s a fact.

        As for X, he came into the game crazy and disturbed and they rewarded his behavior with a record deal. We can’t really be surprised that he behaves the way that he does when he’s been a loon from the very start.

        But that’s America for you. I don’t know how much longer the US will be around. I truly believe we’re looking at the last days of The United States. And for me personally, I won’t be surprised.

      • Arrie Mental Woodard

        Black Jay, i been overseas a gang of times for work in the past 2 years and there are so much countries kicking americas asss in so many ways its almost unbelievable, not only education but healthcare, governing the people, advertisment, etc…. we got a lot of catching up to do.. its crazy fam

      • Black Jay

        Oh… No doubt! Don’t even get me started on Healthcare. The only thing that keeps America alive is the fact that we have more money. But how long can that last? You’re only as strong as your weakest man. It’s a couple of spots that’s straight killing us on all fronts. For instance, Canada and Brazil are straight doing it! Man… I don’t know. It used to be when I traveled and told people I was American, I got respect. Now if I say it, I’m afraid I might get murdered. And that’s some real sh*t.

      • Arrie Mental Woodard

        thats real talk…. it seems like almost everywhere hates america and americans… me and my man almost got jumped in germany by some big ass dudes who walked up, looked at my homie and said “i hate americans”, the only thing that saved us from fighting was my reply…. “man i hate most americans too thats why we here” the biggest dude looked at me and broke out laughing… he wasnt expecting that. lol. its that real to them. and i can dig it to a certain degree.

      • Black Jay

        Now that’s the realist sh*t I’ve read on this site in a minute! Man cats be in their own zone when they’re in the states. But take that sh*t overseas and you’ll find out what’s up for real. That same sh*t almost happened to me when I was working in Brazil. I was wearing an Obama t shirt in a club. You know, just trying to show some pride right after his first election. Dudes rolled up on me and my boy and was like,
        “Man, we hate Americans. But you two are lucky because you have that Obama shirt on. He’s cool with us. Otherwise we would’ve took your money.” and that sh*t was 8 years ago. I just got back from Europe and trust me, I wasn’t rocking no sh*t like that over there. But I feel them. We’re the nation of bullying folks. It’s bound to come around.

      • Immortal

        Gentlemen, I’ve also lived abroad and have had chances to use the “healthcare” systems of other countries, and I can say that without doubt as screwed up as ours is, it’s better than 90% of the rest of the world. I too was in Germany, and they have universal health care, BUT their wait times to see a specialist is ridiculous. Lived in the UK for almost four years and the same is true. You can go to the ER, no problem, but if you need a specific type of care the waiting line longer than Drakes chances of sleeping with Rihanna. Korea, well it’s Korea nuff said. Our system is not the best, but at least IF you have healthcare you do have the opportunity to see a “qualified” doctor in a rather reasonable timeframe. Canada’s been quiet on the healthcare system because they share the same system as the UK and it’s bankrupting them slowly. In the end, what I find displeasing in our healthcare system is that an illegal immigrant can come here use the hospital system and I’m stuck with the bill. “Gangstas” can shoot each other to bits go to the ER, then specialty care and I’m stuck with the bill because I have a job. Where is the fairness in that? In regards to the talk about American’s being arrogant overseas; I’m going to totally agree with you with the knowledge that 70 years ago and many, MANY investments later, the US built the Europe that is “thriving” today. In fact they think we have such a good life over here they copied it and called it the European Union and enacting the Euro as a way of copying the US and that’s turning out to be a failure on many levels. Those IMO who say they hate us here, are the SAME ones that would love nothing more than to get here by hook or crook. As a servicemember I can’t count the number of women from so called 1st world countries trying to marry one of us just to get here and be called an American. You don’t hear of too many illegal immigrant’s that start of as Americans do you? As bad as it is here, we do have it better than the rest, but we just take it for granted, Easier to focus on what’s wrong that acknowledge what’s right. Long ass comment I know

      • Black Jay

        I feel you on that healthcare thing but….. The problems that you speak of in regards to working people paying for the uninsured and the illegals, that’s a systemic problem and is a symptom of what is wrong with our healthcare system. They are connected.
        I served in the Army myself but I’ve also lived independently in Manila, Brazil, and Canada. They all have far superior healthcare systems than the U.S. Just because we have fancier hospitals doesn’t mean that our SYSTEM is superior. It’s not. Canada has stress on their financial systems but that is the price you pay for taking care of the elders and your community. But with that Keystone pipeline joint and all of Canada’s natural resources, trust me. They’re good. And don’t even get me started about Brazil. Straight crushing us on healthcare.

      • Immortal

        I’m with you on everything but the last paragraph. America will never dissolve because as much in debt we are to the world, they are also massively in debt to us. So to see us go away would effectively destroy the worlds economy and many governments in the process. No one could afford that. The dollar might rule in the sense of how we conduct business, but it also demands and gets respect from outside the US. In the end, the US is Mike and all of them want to be like him.

      • Black Jay

        I disagree with that “America will never dissolve” argument. Remember The Roman Empire? As large as that was it ultimately tumbled. But you’re thinking more of financial ruin. America is more likely to end in nuclear war. How long can we be bullies to the rest of the world. That Bush sh*t was cruddy. Killing hundreds of thousands of people for nothing? Yep. America will intimately push the wrong country and there it goes.

  • hoeyuno

    That’s the best unbiased opinion I heard about macklemore…

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  • Pierre Elliott


  • Pierre Elliott





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  • Taylor Mallory

    This was an incredible interview. Talib kept it 100.

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  • realhiphopgoddess

    Breeding dogs and bein an undercover agent is what dmx is

    He got his five year run, and wanted head from the lips of all these whores

    talib is a zionist hebrew israelite and Hiphop is not about that

    KRS ONE..Hott is dedicated to these cowards

    Its always the medua right never these self hating sell outs

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