Talib Kweli’s new solo album, Ear Drum, will hit the streets later this year via the rapper’s newly formed Blacksmith Music/Warner Bros. imprint. The disc is led by the first single "Listen," a plea for the return of real hip hop.
Other tracks on the LP include "More Or Less" featuring Hi-Tek and "Country Cousins" featuring UGK and Raheem DeVaughn.
"The vast majority of my subject matter focuses on black self-love, black self esteem, black self-worth," he says. "That translates to other communities because if you're a human being, it doesn't matter what color you're talking about. You've been through some sort of struggle and you can apply it to your own life."
In the pipeline for Blacksmith are projects by rappers Jean Grae and Strong Arm Steady, whose members include Xzibit, Phil the Agony, Krondon and Mitchy Slick.
"With Blacksmith, I want it to be a flag that everyone can wave," Kweli says.