Update: The rap and comedy legend-packed video for “Traveling Light” is out now, along with Kweli’s new album, Radio Silence.
Today on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio show, conscious rap stalwart Talib Kweli debuted a raucous banger of a collaboration with Anderson .Paak, “Traveling Light” produced by Kaytranada, and talked about a number of subjects including meeting Barack Obama, being a fan of Migos, and trapping Jay Electronica like a Pokemon for a feature on his upcoming album.
Kweli praised both of his “Traveling Light” collaborators effusively, calling Kaytranada “an incredibly talented individual and human being,” and saying of .Paak, “Anderson reminds of when I first head CeeLo Green. When you first heard Ceelo Green, you think you’re listening to a 60-year-old Black man who’s weathered and wrinkled — like he’s lived some experiences.”
The snippet of the track played by Lowe is enough to whet any Kweli fan’s appetite, but the revelation that Kweli’s forthcoming EP, Radio Silence, will include a rare feature should have fans champing at the bit for the EP’s release this Friday, November 17.
“I might have the tenth Jay Electronica feature ever,” Kweli jokes. “I just had to catch [him]. He’s like a Pokemon. I was like, ‘Listen, we’re going to record right now.'” He details tracking down the elusive Five Percenter for the feature and the lengths he went to to get him on the album as well. “I went to this meeting that Farrakhan was having and Jay Electronica was there. I knew he was going to be there. We recorded that in the ballroom of the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago. We snuck in there and set up… we weren’t supposed to be in there. We snuck in there, set up to record this Jay Elec verse.”
Furthermore, he elaborated on his continued longevity in hip-hop, and what it means to change with trends. “I like Migos a lot, too,” he said. “I think the key, for me, to longevity is paying attention to the trends without following them… Bars are still important, [but] this generation is more about the vibe.”
It’s a fascinating interview from a performer who never seems to deliver anything but. Check it in full below.