Talib Kweli Greene (born October 3, 1975 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American MC known as one of the most prominent rappers in underground hip-hop, and is critically acclaimed frequently, despite not being commercially successful. Kweli first gained recognition through Black Star, a collaboration with fellow MC Mos Def. He released his solo debut album Quality in 2002 and has since released 2004’s The Beautiful Struggle, 2005’s mixtape album Right About Now, 2007’s Eardrum and 2011’s Gutter Rainbows. He has also released two albums with Hi-Tek under the name Reflection Eternal and a collaboration album with Madlib in 2007 plus two albums with Res under the name Idle Warship.
The Brooklyn-based rapper earned his stripes as one of the most lyrically-gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years. His travels around the globe as one of rap’s most in-demand performers combined with his conversations with political activists and his genre-straddling work with Idle Warship and others caused Kweli to realize that he was limited in a sense, a prisoner of sorts of his own success as one of the world’s best rappers with something significant to say.