Latin Conference & Awards

The Beautiful Struggle

After recording well-received projects with Black Star partner Mos Def and Reflection Eternal colleague Hi-Tek, Talib Kweli went on his own in 2002 with "Quality." On this sophomore solo jaunt, the ly

After recording well-received projects with Black Star partner Mos Def and Reflection Eternal colleague Hi-Tek, Talib Kweli went on his own in 2002 with "Quality." On this sophomore solo jaunt, the lyrically diverse and prolific griot delves deeper into the real-life realm from which he staked his initial acclaim. On that score, the talented rapper has lost no ground. Helping him give voice to a raft of topics from everyday survival and world issues to break dancing are the well-known (Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans), up-and-comers (John Legend) and the under-recognized (Jean Grae, Res). "I Try," featuring Blige and produced by Kanye West, comes off as trying too hard to re-create Kweli's "Quality" hit, "Get By." The album works best when it goes with the flow, as on "Ghetto Show" with Common and Anthony Hamilton, the title track and "Going Hard" with Res.—GM