Prisoner of Conscious

Prisoner of Conscious

by Talib KweliTalib Kweli


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If Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli really is a Prisoner of Conscious, as the title to his 2013 album suggests, then of course radio-aimed crossover numbers are the proper way to make a jailbreak, so bring on T-Pain and Weezy and start climbing those charts. Actually, T-Pain isn't here and the literate MC's collaboration with Lil Wayne remains stuck on Kweli's great Attack the Block mixtape, but this casual stroll into the mainstream does feature Nelly on the "Music is a part of me" song "Before He Walked" ("You download it for free, but what I create is sacred/It cost you nothing but I pay to make it") while Miguel shows up on "Come Here," one of the most artistic and art-filled hip-hop come-ons on wax ("She rock a fella center like Diego in the lobby/As valuable as The Scream or Salvador Dali"). Radio regulars Curren$y and Kendrick Lamar appear on the rather loose "Push Thru," but the most valuable guest stars are Seu Jorge for his work on the Brazilian-flavored "Favela Love" ("Pow! That's the sound like onomatopoeia/Got me floating when you rocking my boat like Aaliyah") and Busta Rhymes, who brings some gruff, comic relief to the wicked "Rocket Ships." Strange that the Busta-assisted swagger-fest clumsily stumbles out of the sensitive and effective "Delicate Flowers" ("She emo-bloggin', I'm boiling her hemoglobin"), plus the album's title takes on a different meaning when the closing "It Only Gets Better" suggests freedom fighters like Mumia and Pussy Riot are the true Prisoners of Conscious. Still, the off-topic and amazing "Hamster Wheel" ("How she gonna make it through the night? /How she so accepting of her station in life?" offered with an Al Green-sized helping of hurt) is here, and when that's added to all the other highlights, the album is well above worthwhile, as scattershot and frustrating as it is.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/07/2013
Label: Javotti Media
UPC: 0810040020186
catalogNumber: 2018
Rank: 158303

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Talib Kweli   Primary Artist
John Cave   Guitar
Joe Harley   Keyboards
Dave Richards   Trombone,Trumpet
Maurice Brown   Trumpet
Erik "Baby Jesus" Coomes   Bass
Nailton Bispo "Meia Noiche" Dos Santos   Drums
Deonis "Pumah" Cook   Vocals
Brian Cockerham   Bass
Gene Back   Strings,Violin
Brady Watt   Bass
Tim Snider   Violin
Dave Eggar   Cello
Ed "Wolverine" Goldson   Bass,Guitar
Davi Viera   Drums
Miles Lassi   Percussion
Masayuki Hirano   Keyboards
Leshawn "Crack" Lee   Drums
Lauren Avery   Violin,Viola
Ken Dark   Background Vocals
DJ Eque   Vocals
Chad Hammer   Strings,Cello
Hypnotic Bass Ensemble   Horn
Nigel Hall   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Barbara Mason   Sample Source
Marco Antonio Muñiz   Composer,Sample Source
S1   Producer
Duke Ellington   Composer,Sample Source
Eddie Krakaur   Vocal Engineer
RZA   Producer
Rakim   Composer,Sample Source
Billy Strayhorn   Composer,Sample Source
Chuck Anderson   Artwork
Eric B.   Composer,Sample Source
Eric Haze   Artwork
Talib Kweli   Composer,Executive Producer
Blair Wells   Engineer
Jeff Staple   Art Direction
Oh No   Producer
Anthony Caruso   Engineer
Kevin "Kev-O" Wilson   Vocal Engineer
Federico "C Sik" Lopez   Vocal Engineer
Terrace Martin   Producer
Alby Cohen   Engineer,String Arrangements,Vocal Engineer
Caleb McCampbell   Producer
James Jean   Artwork
Harry Fraud   Producer
Aaron Bastinelli   Engineer
Ndara Mboyo   Composer
Christopher Mendoza   Artwork
Allister Lee   Artwork
Aarow Brown   Sample Source
Sophia Chang   Artwork
Riketzo Ililonga   Composer
Felicia Douglass   Artwork

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