Talib Kweli Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Talib Kweli f/ Black Thought, Kanye West & Pharoahe Monch "Guerrilla Monsoon Rap" (2002)

Album: Quality
Producer: Kanye West
Label: Rawkus / Universal Music Group

Talib Kweli: “I was working on my record and I was working in Cutting Room studios. Kanye walked into my session and was like, ‘Yo, is Mos Def here?’ Yasiin was supposed to show up for that session, but it was one of those days where it was late and I knew Yasiin wasn’t gonna make it.

“I was like, ‘He’s not here, but what’s up?’ This is the first time I ever met Kanye. He was like, ‘Well he told me to meet him here because I have some beats for him. My name is Kanye West, I’m a producer and I worked on Beanie Sigel’s album.’

 

This is the first time I met Kanye West. He played me ‘Good To You’ and ‘Guerilla Monsoon Rap’ and a couple of other beats in that session. I picked those two immediately, like, ‘Yo, this kid is incredible! Who is this guy?’

 

“I said, ‘What songs did you do on Beanie Sigel’s album?’ He told me ‘The Truth’ and a couple of other songs, and I was like, ‘Man, those songs are the shit, can you play me some beats?’ He played me ‘Good To You’ and ‘Guerilla Monsoon Rap’ and a couple of other beats in that session. I picked those two immediately, like, ‘Yo, this kid is incredible! Who is this guy?’

“I knew I wanted a posse cut and I wanted Black Thought, Pharaohe, and Common. That was the idea. Kanye wrote and laid that hook but it was for one of us to sing. Common, for whatever reason, just did not get around to making those studio sessions.

“But Kanye had already laid the hook and Pharaohe had already said something about four MCs in his verse. So that’s when it was like, ‘Okay, if Kanye stays on the hook, there’s still four MCs on it.’ Which is why we ended up keeping Kanye’s hook there. But Kanye’s hook on that record is just fantastic.”

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