Nobody does real talk like Reggie Ossé a.k.a. Combat Jack. The former rap industry attorney, media executive, author, and Internet radio talk-show personality now hosts The Combat Jack Show, where hip-hop's biggest names are put on the front line. The questions will be tough—and shots will be fired. Co-hosted by Dallas Penn, Premium Pete, and Just Blaze, The Combat Jack Show appears every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday on Complex TV.
In the second part of our three part interview with Talib Kweli on The Combat Jack Show, Talib breaks down how Black Star with Mos Def began. Explaining that the two rappers met in Washington Square Park, Kweli says he revered Mos for his lyricism. "I think he might have been my favorite rhymer to listen to in the cyphers. What he was coming with was some different shit to me."
The genesis of Black Star was also intertwined with the origins of Rawkus Records, where label heads Brian Barter and Jarret Myer suggested Kweli put out "Fortified Live" with Mos Def. However, Kweli was hesitant to agree with them. "Back then it was a point of pride, like, 'I can stand on my own.' Brian was like, 'We need to put that one out,' and I'm like, 'Naw,'" Kweli says. "Because then niggas is going to think that I'm using these niggas for a crutch."
During his conversation about Black Star and Rawkus, Kweli recounts a time when he met The Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac at the Lyricist Lounge, where they shared more than rhymes. "I smoked a blunt with Biggie and 2Pac in the club," Kweli says. "It wasn't no real conversation, I was just in the cypher. Sarah Jones was there. Biggie used to have a crush on Sarah Jones."
Talib Kweli's album, Prisoner of Conscious, is out now. You can catch him on the road this summer, with show details listed here.
Also check out Talib Kweli on Complex TV's Bold Moves below.