Talib Kweli was among the many targets that Kanye took aim at during his appearance on "Drink Champs."
The power of the media continues to work in Kanye West's favor, no matter how good or bad the coverage is. The artist's recent appearance on N.O.R.E.'s Drink Champs certainly left a foul taste in the mouth of plenty of his former friends and collaborators including Talib Kweli.
Kweli has now responded to Kanye's comments on both social media and in an interview with TMZ. The Black Star rapper went to Instagram with some footage from his documentary where Ye had nothing but praise for him. Talib shared a few quotes, specifically, where 'Ye said, "(Kweli) taught me the most about being an artist. More than anybody."
Kweli later appeared on TMZ where he addressed Kanye's comments directly. He suggested that Kanye isn't being entirely truthful about the conversations they've had since many of the things he's criticized 'Ye for publicly have also been said in private conversations. "Kanye knows very well that the things I've said about him in public, I've also said to him in private," Kweli said, adding that the MAGA support was where he drew the line. However, he admitted that it wouldn't have impacted their friendship as a whole.
"I still consider him a good friend and I love him but because he's my good friend, I told him privately," he continued, referring to Ye's overall support for the far-right including Candace Owens. "I think it's dangerous. I think you're putting targets on our backs and I still believe that."
Kweli also spoke out about Common's penmanship. He explained that he doesn't think there's anything wrong between Kanye choosing Common over him. "Common is quite a standard for me as an MC to even be compared to. So, I feel honored and blessed to be compared to Common in that way," he said. "But Kanye's having a popularity contest between myself and him. And clearly, he's more popular but I never been into it for the popularity. I'm not here for a popularity contest. I'm here to tell the truth and the truth is often unpopular. I rhyme about the movement for Black lives in most of my rhymes. Kanye's out here rhyming about bleached assholes and stuff like that. Obviously, he's more popular."
The comments in question were made during the Quicktime with Slime portion of Kanye's interview on Drink Champs where N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN asked Ye to pick between Kweli and Common, who he's worked closely with over the years.
"My opinion is that everybody knows that Common [is better]," Kanye said before elaborating about his issues with Talib. "Man, you can’t tell me what I’m going through in my life. … If you take the average 99 percent of people and say, ‘Do you wanna be Kweli or do you wanna be Ye?’ More people are gonna wanna be Ye, Kweli."
Check out the full Drink Champs interview below.