Talib Kweli recently connected with 9th wonder and Jamla to create Indie 500, a 13 track album with features from Rapsody, Problem, Add-2, Pharoahe Monch and others. The production is handled by the Soul Council and Hi-Tek, who just recently joined Jamla, and is what you would expect from both parties. I think the album is good, but is not consistent in quality throughout.
The album starts with “Which Side Are You On” a song about police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. The song is much more powerful in conjunction with the video. unfortunately I think this is one of the weaker songs on the album. My personal favorite cut is “Every Ghetto” which comes next and features Rapsody. This is not only one of my favorite songs lyrically, but also has my favorite beat on the album. I love the keys and the vocal sample, it feels like church. Rapsody absolutely murders her verse and Talib holds down his end. “Lo-Fi” has a great beat and Niko is has a great verse. I like the build up and how it is not sustained so that it goes straight back to the main beat.
“Life Ahead of Me” is another strong cut that features Rapsody. Rapsody’s second verse about how people would respect her more if she was a man is powerful. Her acapella intro to “Don’t Be Afraid” is the most fiery I have heard Rapsody, I swear she sounds like she is about to tear someone’s throat out. The spoken word outro to “These Waters” is one of the best parts of the entire album.
I think this album is good, but most of the songs don’t pop like they should. The best songs are awesome and really hold the album down. The production is awesome as expected, but everything could have created a much larger impact on the ears of this listener.
by Addison A Garry (@addisonagarry)