Talib Kweli & Styles P Are Releasing a Collabo Album & Taking It On Tour (Video)

Talib Kweli and Styles P have a storied history as collaborators, from 2004’s “Buck ‘Em Down” to 2015’s “Mathematics” and elsewhere, the two New Yorkers have maintained a working relationship for well over a decade. In a recent interview with the United Kingdom’s Acton Entertainment, Kweli shared news likely to delight fans of the two MCs, in the form of a forthcoming collaborative album, which will be supported by a full tour.

“Me and Styles P got a situation. We got an album together,” Kweli says. “It’s called The Seven and that album – we’re doing a tour, The Seven Tour, that starts in January. So, I think that album will come out before my next solo album,” he explains. His statement was in response to a question regarding a new single of his featuring Jay Electronica, which he says will likely be pushed back now.

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Kweli also shares some of the backstory behind his partnership with the LOX rapper, saying “me and Styles got a lot of songs together. Over the years, there’s three, four, five songs together that just feel real good. For some reason, whenever I get on a song with the Ghost, it feels right,” he says. “So there’s been talk…we’ve always had good rapport together.” Adding that he had an opportunity to a tour in the U.S. and bring someone along of his choice, Kweli says “if I go on tour with Styles P, it’ll give me a chance to knock out some music with him. So I called Styles about the tour and as soon as I said ‘yo, you wanna go on this tour with me?,’ he said ‘I’ll go on a tour if we do an album before the tour.’ So where I was at with it, he was one step ahead of me.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Kweli is asked to comment on Yasiin Bey’s reported retirement. “I don’t know if Mos Def is really retiring. Until Yasiin Bey comes to me and says ‘I’m retiring’ – to be real with you, I went to see him in South Africa a few months back. And he did tell me he was retiring. He did say that to me. But he has said that to me before, so I don’t know how serious – I personally think, from what I know about him, that he is such a lover of music and creating music, that he will always create music. And he will always find ways to get music out to the people. I think what he’s doing is retiring from the music business, but I think he did that a long time ago.”

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Kweli is also asked to share the details of his recent visit with President Obama, where he and a handful of other artists communed to discuss solutions to the myriad problems caused by overzealous policing and mass incarceration. “The purpose of the meeting at the White House was to discuss criminal-justice reform and Obama’s commitment to mentorship programs, and how artists can use social media, in particular, to spread information about these things,” he divulges. “Barack Obama himself made it clear to us that he wanted one of his legacies to be criminal-justice reform,” he adds, before mentioning Obama’s historic action in commuting the sentences of more inmates than any other president. In fact, just today (December 19), ABC News reports that Obama “has pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentence of 153 others convicted of federal crimes, the greatest number of individual clemencies in a single day by any president.”

Also discussed are his thoughts on working with A Tribe Called Quest on the group’s latest album, working with Jay Electronica, and more.