What’s the latest on your album and what should your fans look forward to you from you in 2013?
I have my label Year Round Records and I also have my production company Works Of Mart Inc. Me and Bumpy Knuckles dropped an LP back in March 27, 2012 called :Kolexxxion” and we toured all over Europe in September and October of that year. We will do domestic shows to support it soon. I also am releasing for the first time consistently albums and EP’s from artists such as MC Eiht whose EP “Keep it Hood” was just released on January 4, 2013. We will share his label Blue Stamp Music and my company Works of Mart and release the full length LP “Which Way Iz West”. Also I have a group out of the Gang Starr Foundation from the Bronx and uptown Manhattan called NYGz, and they will drop before summer. I have an artist from Houston, Texas named Khaleel, he will be dropping an EP in a few weeks and then an LP this summer called “Already.” Then there’s D.I.T.C Inc. with Showbiz producing most of the project to showcase the younger generation of spitters that run circles around these popular radio rappers musically and lyrically. Then I am working with Lady of Rage, Joey Bada$$, Dynasty, Immortal Technique, Kool Sphere of Verbal Threat, E. Hart, Bumpy Knuckles and O.C.LP, and the highly anticipated Peter Rock vs. Premier LP. I stays busy.
If there was a biopic made about your life, what actor would play you, who would direct it and who would some of the cast of characters in the film be?
To play me would be either my twin brother Talib Kweli, Martin Lawrence, that’s off the top of the head. I would get John Singleton or F. Gary Gray to direct it. The rest of the characters would be my true friends old and young. They are the most bugged out group of people that I consider loved ones. I don’t want a biopic done on me though. I’m happy that people recognize my gift and I just will keep giving them music and I am fine with just that.
Guru had many timeless lyrics, but if you had to choose just one of verses, what would your favorite Guru verse of all time be?
I could never pick just one great Guru verse. He has way too many great ones. If you asked me for a few answers to that question, then I could answer it, but since you didn’t ask……
Talk about the love you have for hip hop culture and music in general?
What more is there to say? I’m 46, and I was here way before the culture started, so I wholeheartedly understand the mechanics of Hip Hop from every element from Breaking, DJ-ing, MC-ing, Beatboxing, Graffiti and all of the music that we had before Hip Hop existed.
When are you at your creative best and what keeps you driven?
I am at my creative best when I hear dope shit and when I hear wack shit. I’m inspired either way to make a banger.
I’m guessing it’s very important for you to “back-up” all your music and sound files. When was the last time your computer crashed on you where you lost music?
It is a MUST to back up everything and I definitely do that. I recently was in Hawaii for a wedding and I was in my hotel room on my day off re-dumping files to my new laptop it took a long time and I still am not done updating it, but at least I have ALL of my files.
You list scoring a film as something you want to accomplish. How has reaching that goal been coming along?
I dream of getting that opportunity and I am still waiting for it, but in the meantime I have plenty of work to do.
You’ve said that you would have no problem working on a a Miley Cyrus or Justin Beiber record, would you ever do an electronica record? If so, what would it sound like, what sounds would you incorporate and would it have a hip hop feel since that’s the culture you came from?
If I did an electronic record, it would have the elements of what’s popular now but it would still be unique where it would have no problem standing out amongst the current popular ones that bang in the clubs. I always want to be unique and different with my work. I might just do that style of music and release it under an alias.
Back in the day, hip hop was more rooted in story telling, the struggle and the streets, where emcees seem to put time and emphasis on the lyrics as well as the message. Whereas some may say it isn’t so much the case today. Is that the fault of the artists of today or just a result of the generation they came from?
It is not the artists fault. The industry and radio have made rap music very corporate and watered down.
You seem to “give back” hip hop a great deal and “naturally” educate the younger generations, as an ambassador even a professor in some cases, if you will, why is it important for you to give back and teach?
It is important to give back because I love the Hip Hop culture. I DJ, produce and I’m a recording artist because those are the jobs within the culture that I am qualified to do at a high level. Correctly. I respect the founding fathers and sisters of this culture and refuse to misrepresent it in a bad way. I forever live Hip Hop.