Reflection Eternal, 'Revolutions Per Minute' (Warner Bros.)

7
Revolutions Per Minute
Critical Mass
Label: Warner Bros.

by Mosi Reeves

Talib Kweli is beloved by many for his topical themes, and deplored by others for his often convoluted verbiage. This reunion with producer Hi-Tek, Kweli's partner in late-'90s underground champs Reflection Eternal, fuels both camps with smart essays on addiction ("Lifting Off") and celebrity culture ("Got Work"), as well as forced, throwaway couplets like "You know I'm so influential / Because I'm glowing like a candle." Thankfully, Hi-Tek remains a generous collaborator whose jazz-inflected riffs and soulful vibes bring out the best in the mercurial MC.

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