Talib Kweli clarifies his comments about Rick Ross and Lil Wayne's lyrics, and talks about double standards in hip hop.
Talib Kweli has been a vocal presence in the controversies around Rick Ross and Lil Wayne's lyrics. The rapper has said that he is dissatisfied with the lack of a proper apology given by Ross for his date-rape referencing lyrics on "U.O.E.N.O." , and Wayne for his distasteful Emmett Till line. The Black Star rapper has also spoken out about hip hop lyrics in general, and how there are double standards in who hip hop fans give passes to when it comes to questionable lyrical content. Kweli cleared up some of his statements in an interview with Hot 97 today, clarifying that he has no problems with the artists in question, but does feel that they are capable of doing wrong.
Talib first spoke on how his words had been twisted in blog posts, and the importance of expressing your opinion. "The blogs have been getting on me saying I've got opinions about Ross or opinions about Lil Wayne. I'm like, 'Yo, I've got opinions just like the next man.' But I'm glad through social media you can get it straight from the horse's mouth. You can go on my Twitter and find out what I really think as opposed to trusting what a blog might have to say about me. But I've got my opinions just like anybody else in Hip Hop. And I'm not no authority on Rick Ross or Lil Wayne or anybody else. I'm not no authority. I don't make no demands. I don't have no power over these men. But I state my opinion just like anybody else,"
Kweli then clarified that while he respects both artists, he feels he has the right to express disapproval when he feels they have done something wrong. "All these artists that have lyrics that offend people, especially Rick Ross and Lil Wayne, I'm a fan of both of these men. I know both of these men. I'm friendly with both of these men," he said. "I have no issues with these people as artists. I think we should embrace our artists. But if people say something that I don't agree with, I have no problem saying that it's wrong. I do think that Ross was wrong on those lyrics. I do think that...I do think that [Ross] was dead wrong with that particular lyric."
The Prisoner Of Consciousness emcee then commented on the double standard in hip hop, indicating that fans are inclined to question artists they don't like, while overlooking problems with those that they do. He argued that Ross and Wayne have been targeted while artists like Eminem and Biggie often get a pass for similar lyrics. "I think when it comes to Rick Ross and Lil Wayne, a lot of so-called Hip Hop fans just don't like them in general. So they're looking for other reasons to not like them. Whereas they'll accept rape lyrics from a Biggie Smalls, or an Eminem or an Odd Future. They look at that and they'll condone that but they won't condone it from rappers whose music they don't like."
Listen to the full interview below.