As a musician who’s achieved a degree of fame, I’ve always tried to use my platform to provide a voice for the voiceless and hope for the hopeless. Making songs about activism or social justice is easy, but making great songs that cover those topics is very, very hard. And no matter how good the track is, it’s gonna sound empty if that song’s creator isn’t truly about that life.
That’s why I try to always keep my feet on the ground when it comes to movement work. It’s why I march, organize, and protest with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, The Dream Defenders, and Black Lives Matter. It’s why I went to Ferguson, Tallahassee, Occupy Wall Street, and why I’ll continue to clear my schedule to be anywhere that feels like an epicenter of creating and enacting social change.
This desire to be part of the movement is why I’m collaborating with UPROXX to launch People’s Party with Talib Kweli. It’s more than a podcast; it’s more than a show. It intends to be a vital addition to our community — an idea lab where contemporary issues are discussed with thoughtful, passionate people who help shape the culture. I’m thrilled at the prospect of chopping it up with some of my favorite thought leaders, from Angela Rye to Bun B and B Real to Jemele Hill, while providing a platform for them to share their visions for a better world.
Some of the guests on People’s Party with Talib Kweli will need no introduction, others will be bold minds who deserve to be on your radar. But know this: we won’t be doing the whole late night talk show song and dance. No gimmicks, no bullshit. We need every second we have to discuss art, culture, politics and social justice. We promise to approach every guest and every topic with a spirit of respect but we won’t ever hesitate to debate and disagree. Sure, we might smoke a little weed and talk some Game of Thrones, but the focus is on big ideas.
To paraphrase Harvard Law professor Paul Freund (Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s mentor), People’s Party with Talib Kweli will be a response to the climate, not to the weather of the day. This is not a show about trends or hype, it’s a show about substance — where we wrestle with solutions and fight for a better world.
Life is beautiful. Life is a struggle. Life is a beautiful struggle.
I got that phrase from Yasiin Bey and I named my second solo album The Beautiful Struggle because of it. People’s Party with Talib Kweli intends to capture the balance between pain and beauty; between sadness and joy. I’m inviting you to step into that struggle with us. Your shares, likes, tweets, and thoughtful criticisms will guide us in future episodes. Your voice will be heard and you will be represented. People’s Party with Talib Kweli is with me, not about me. Welcome.