The Nina Simone – Talib Kweli Connection

Nina Simone - Pastel BluesTalib Kweli - Quality


My fellow Maimed &Tamed’er, Caroline, inspired me yesterday with her post, “Rise and Grind: Nina Simone’s ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’”. As a result of that inspiration, I was eager to share a couple of audio gems for your listening pleasure.

1. My go to “rise and grind” song – “Get By” by Talib Kweli.

Like Ms Simone, TK Greene is also a very socially conscious artist, addressing problems in “Get By” such as the disproportionate minority prison population in the US and our infatuation with celebrity culture. Clear is Kweli’s admiration for Simone, using a vocal sample from her 1965 Pastel Blues’ cut “Sinnerman” for “Get By”, which was produced by the not-yet-world beater Kanye West at the time (2002).

2. “For Women” / “Four Women”

Talib Kweli’s “For Women”, the hidden track off Reflection Eternal’s (Talib Kweli + Producer Hi-Tek) hip-hop classic Train of Thought, is a brilliant modern-day interpretation of Nina Simone’s epic “Four Women”. Kweli’s inventive retelling of the stories of four African-American female archetypes makes for one of my favorite hip-hop songs of all time, and one of the most creative at that.

Posted on by sandmanmusic in A Lesson in Hip Hop, M&T Favorites

Add a Comment