Talib Kweli Talks New Album 'Ear Drum'

Brooklyn bred rapper

Talib Kweli is preparing to release Ear Drum, which is the follow-up to

2004's critically acclaimed release Beautiful Struggle.The

album is being released on Kweli's own imprint Blacksmith Music Corporation, which

is distributed by Warner Bros. Records. "This

record [Ear Drum], I just tried to make it about the sounds and about how

the sounds hit your ear," Kweli told AllHipHop.com. "The other records

I’ve done, I’ve wanted to create certain types of songs, songs that

I had in my head. On this one, the music sort of dictated where the songs went."Ear

Drum features production from Hi-Tek, Rick Rubin, Mad Lib, Kanye West and

guest appearances from Norah Jones, UGK, Sizzla, Jean Grae and others. "Nora

Jones—that record is done and is definitely gonna be on my album," Kweli

said. "Mad Lib did the beat. I don’t care what kind of music you do.

Artists can’t be in no boxes; we can’t have limitations. I tried to

heighten my whole career like that."Ear

Drum hits stores on Oct. 10. Kweli's Blacksmith Music Corporation is also

preparing releases from Jean Grae and Xzibit's Cali-based group, Strong Arm Steady.