Talib Kweli & Styles P - The Seven EP
Talib Kweli & Styles P
The Seven EP
When I first put on The Seven the new EP from Talib Kweli and Styles P my expectations were pretty low. Not that both artists aren't incredible and legends in their own right, but I was worried that the world had passed this music by and I was going to be listening to a couple of the greats try to reclaim some kind of throne. I was wrong. These two rappers know their place in history but also still have something to say today. They could have easily laid back on some classic beats ripped straight from their catalogues and just pushed play, but instead they took what was great about their history and made it fresh for today. This is what real Hip Hop is and no song bangs harder than "Nine Point Five" which features Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and Niko Is. You are transported to 2002 when Talib first released "Get By" and the rap game took yet another massive step forward. This record is not going to revolutionize anything but it also is not so precious about history. "Nine Point Five" is hard when it should be, light when it should be and even quite beautiful at times allowing you to envision the New York City streets where this music was born. This album however is not just about celebrating Hip Hops history it also has plenty of fire reserved for the current state of affairs. "In The Field" lays it out quite plainly both with Talib and Styles' verses cutting straight to the Black experience. Talib has never shied away from aggression, and he certainly does not start here.
The features on the record also add to it's power with Common and Jadakiss bring the best verses during their time on the mic. However the whole album is just a verbal assault of the highest order and really shows there is still room for true lyricists in Hip Hop today. At almost 30 minutes long it is on the longer side for an EP but a little short for an LP, it exists somewhere in between but hits for just the right amount of time. What is really fascinating about these two in particular is that they can still personify living in the streets in such an artistically vibrant way. The scratching done by the DJs on the record is also expertly done, only coming in occasionally and never becoming overwhelming as it often can. This is not going to blow up a dance floor or totally change the trajectory of Hip Hop going forward, but The Seven is a snapshot of the Golden Era of Hip Hop and shows just how diverse and great Hip Hop can really be. If you love Hip hop this is a record you are not going to want to miss.
8.0 out of 10