WRAL Out and About: Kweli brings hip-hop to Duke in residency


Durham, N.C. — Talib Kweli is a prolific hip-hop artist and activist who also served a week-long artist-in-residence spot at Duke University. He played two sold out shows last week at Motorco in Durham.

As part of his Durham visit, Kweli was part of Duke Performances’ Hip-Hop Initiative, which provides class visits, talks and performances by notable artists and performers throughout the year. It is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

Kweli is one of the most lyrically gifted and politically conscious rappers to emerge in the last two decades. He’s worked alongside Mos Def as one half of Black Star and collaborated with Kanya West, J Dilla, and many others. In 2011, Kweli founded Javotti Media, envisioned as a platform for independent thinkers and doers. He has collaborated with Durham's own 9th Wonder on several occasions, including their jointly released 2015 album Indie 500. On Friday, he sat down with Duke Professor of Black Popular Culture Mark Anthony Neal at Beyu Caffe to discuss hip-hop’s role in the Trump era.


Allison Mathews