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 final part of our three part interview with Talib Kweli on The Combat Jack Show, the Brooklyn rapper speaks on his appreciation for an online hip-hop community, though it took some time for him to come around. "I knew I had fans on the Internet that supported me, particularly places like Okayplayer, but I never went on no comment section. I never went on a blog, I never went on a chatroom," Kweli explains. "Okayplayer was what got me into the Internet. I started going on Okayplayer because I liked the idea of a community of artists."
Kweli highlighted one specific moment where he caught industry backlash online. "I had negative experience in '04 where my album leaked. Beautiful Struggle leaked like a year before, and I had kids on forums, particularly at Okayplayer, who were actively trying to give out the album for free," Kweli says. "I couldn't believe a quote unquote fan would do me like that."
Combat Jack asks Talib Kweli about his new album, Prisoner of Conscious, as well as his feelings on people labeling him a, "Conscious rapper," which Kweli states isn't an issue to him. "I feel like people think I am, and that's how they deal with me and that's how they approach me. That's the box that people want to put me in. I feel like that's on them," he says. "It's adapt or die. My job is to bring peope to me, and meet them where they're at."
Kweli also responds to fans who criticized his decision to work with Lil Wayne and Mack Maine on "Celebrate" from his recent mixtape, Attack The Block. "If the response is, 'You shouldn't have did that song because it's garbage,' I have to respect that. Every person got they opinion," Kweli contends. "But I can't respect someone who says, 'You shouldn't have did that song, period,' and they ain't even never heard it."
With features from Kendrick Lamar, Nelly, and Busta Rhymes, Talib Kweli's album Prisoner of Conscious is available now. You can also catch him on the road this summer, with show details listed here.