Talib Kweli Stands Up To Make The World A Better Place, Starting With Beautiful Music (Audio)

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Talib Kweli has joined forces with Jazz trumpeter and rapper Maurice Brown for “Stand Up,” a brooding call to action for strength during turbulent times. Brown is a Grammy-winning musician whose tutelage under the great Wynton Marsalis has helped him become one of the most successful musicians of his class, and his foray into Hip-Hop has earned him comparisons to Jazz musicians like Roy Hargrove. In fact, this isn’t even his first collab with Kweli; in 2014, the Brooklyn MC (along with Prodigy and Jean Grae) appeared on Brown’s Maurice vs. Mobetta project.

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On “Stand Up,” Brown and Kweli trade verses over Brown’s original instrumentation and live band. Kweli uses his time on the mic to champion the good fight, encouraging all to stick to convictions and speak out against injustices – something he’s been doing in his music and personal life for years. “Meanwhile, I’ve been doing this street art since knee-high/What I write is gospel, just like the truth in the Book of Levi/My criticism of structures be lingering up in these minds/A system here to fuck us, I’m tinkering with the designs,” he spits.

Of the song, Brown says “we are in a political and economic climate that has been sapping the energy and sense of hope from everyone around us. Inspired by the advice ‘stand for something or you’ll fall for anything,’  I want to call people to come together, take a stand for a better life and a better world and help one another in whatever way possible, big or small. To collectively be the change we wish to see in the world.”

“Stand Up” will appear on Mo’s forthcoming album The Mood, which arrives March 24.