Today in Hip Hop History: August 21, 2007
Famous conscientious rapper Talib Kweli released his third studio album, Eardrum, through his own Blacksmith Music in 2007. The album was distributed by Warner Bros. Records. Eardrum contained many producers including Kanye West, Hi-Tek, Battlecat, Terrace Martin, DJ Khalil, Madlib, Will.I.AM., DJ Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock, among several others. The features on Eardrum included Norah Jones, Roy Ayers, Dion, UGK, KRS-One, Justin Timberlake and Little Brother, in addition to many others.
There was significant buzz surrounding Eardrum before its release, due to Talib releasing the tracks and analysis via his MySpace page, in addition to a 3 year difference since his last album The Beautiful Struggle. Since then, Talib Kweli sank back more into his original personality with Eardrum, mostly being soulful samples, intelligent lyrics and less aggression than his previous record. The gospel feel and laxed bars portray his best take at spiritual music.
Among critics, the aspect of Eardrum that impressed most was its production. With the all star lineup of producers on his album, Talib Kweli elevated his game to another level with Eardrum. It received considerably favorable reviews, as Talib’s consistent conscious lyrics and preachy songs spoke volumes over legendary production.
Eardrum peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Unfortunately, it did not move enough copies to become RIAA certified. Regardless, Eardrum remains a classic release in Talib’s renowned discography.