What do you get when you put an amazing emcee with a phat producer/deejay? Damn good music, that’s what. Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek are no exception to this rule either. Reflection Eternal – Train Of Thought is an absolutely amazing album, no doubt. I’ve been listening to pretty much nothing else for the past week or so, and that hasn’t happened since I bought ‘Do You Want More?!!!?!!?’ by The Roots. Talib Kweli has been around before; back in ’97 he featured on ‘Doom’ by Mood, and more well known for his collaboration with Mos Def in the group that was ‘Black Star’. Hi-Tek shares the same timeline really, having met up with Kweli on ‘Doom’. 1998 – ‘Black Star’ showed the underground coming up. Talib Kweli and Mos Def collaboration.
As in ‘Black Star’, this album is filled with both smooth, easy to groove to tracks mixed in with the more hard, head nodding beats. Production is what we’d expect of Hi-Tek, different. You won’t have heard much else like this, and the underground style of his past productions is maintained here. Kweli is able to maneuver his voice to adapt to the background instruments. This is a talent few others share. Kweli will get you listening, bringing many political and relevent issues throughout his songs. He definetely won’t tell you of the last Benz he bought, and which bitch he just banged (thank God). Like with Mos Def’s ‘Black On Both Sides’, the album won’t just make you listen, it will make you think. ‘Too Late’, for example, brings to us listeners the issue that hip hop is dying, and that there is a definite need for its revival. ‘Love Language’ shows us that there is ‘no translation for love’, which may sound corny, but is definetely true throughout. 1999 – ‘Black On Both Sides’ showed Mos Def on his own, but Kweli was able to feature on it.
The combination of head nodding beats and lyrical mastery blesses us with another Rawkus labelled album that will keep you listening. Talib’s hard, but somehow smooth vocals mixed with Hi-Tek’s similar production allows the listener to gain whatever they want from the album. There is no room for fault given in this album, and you can tell that both artists have put much thought into this one. The inclusion of many other big names brought me much enjoyment, Mos Def, Les Nubians, Rah Digga and Xzibit all taking part in this musical masterpiece. Flawless? Probably. 2000 – Kweli and Hi-Tek hook up with ‘Reflection Eternal’. Nothing but the real here.
Reviewed By Hip Hop Network for HipHopHotSpot.Com