After an artist holds down a certain lane for so long, it can be nearly impossible to find acceptance in another lane of artistic expression. That’s why Talib Kweli, the visceral lyricist that got his start during The Backpack Era, created Idle Warship, a group with frequent collaborators Res and Graph Nobel. Simply, IW is a group that produces Black Eyed Peas-like material rather than the fundamental or soulful sound for which its members are all originally known. On brand new single System Addict, producer DJ Khalil taps the essence of a robot to create the song’s foundation. The record does feature Ms. #CookiesOrComas Jean Grae (does anybody else think she sounded a little like Nicki Minaj?) and Jay Knocka, but it most notably is missing a verse from Kweli himself. While Res is the primary focus, and she delivers the goods as she consistently does, the song feels a bit empty without counterpart Kweli. Regardless, we’ll have to wait and see if the hip-hop community will be open to an entire project of progressive hip-pop from Kweli’s Idle Warship when their currently untitled debut album drops later this year.
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