After this week’s special episode of People’s Party With Talib Kweli, in which Kweli reconciled with commentator Don Lemon, the political discussions continue with a clip from next week’s full episode featuring longtime Kweli collaborator Common. In this clip, the two rappers take on the recent surprise announcement by another of their former collaborators, Kanye West, that he would be running for President of the United States in 2020.
Kweli and Common both have unique insight into Kanye’s thought process, as both rappers were instrumental in West’s early rise as a promising young producer for Roc-A-Fella Records. West produced Kweli’s biggest hit, 2002’s “Get By,” and counted Common as a mentor and forerunner in the Chicago hip-hop scene before helping Common recover from the commercial fallout of his experimental Electric Circus album with Be, Common’s Grammy-nominated sixth studio album, which became one of Common’s most successful projects ever.
Common describes being floored by the news and skeptical about Kanye’s qualifications. “I started thinking, we need a leader and a president who really is politically adept, knows the world of politics and is just an incredible leader… I would at least sit down and talk to ‘Ye to see if he’s serious about this.” Kweli also seems less than enthusiastic about Kanye’s sincerity. “For better or for worse, [he] prides himself at not being adept at politics and not really knowing about politics.”
Kweli points out that Kanye freely admits to being uninformed on hot-button issues and operation out of emotions, which makes him unwilling to support Kanye, although he thinks that Kanye is smart enough to “turn it around” — although he says Kanye has yet to turn around his “biggest mistake,” his support of Donald Trump. “That’s our brother,” Common says. “But I would sit down with him like, ‘What’s your plan?’ We really need a leader that’s on the next level when it comes to politics and thinking and the people.”
Watch the clip above.