[With the new Prisoner of Conscious finally on store shelves, Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli tells SOHH readers how he’s developed a knack for recording albums on getaway islands.]
I had actually gone out to Puerto Rico a few years ago. Well, I should say I started the process a few years ago where I went out ot the Islands. I did that for Eardrum, Gutter Rainbows, Revolutions Per Minute.
It would be me, Jean Grae, Hi-Tek and we’d all go to Jamaica to work and record. So I chose Puerto Rico. I’m actually working on a book. So I started the process out in San Juan a few years back and fell in love with the whole San Juan.
So for the Prisoner of Conscious, a bunch of us flew down there and worked on the album.
The technology has gotten to a point where you can record quality things anywhere. My inspiration comes from New York, it comes from Brooklyn, but it was great to get away from all of the distractions by going to an island.
The Brooklyn-based rapper earned his stripes as one of the most lyrically-gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years. His travels around the globe as one of rap’s most in-demand performers combined with his conversations with political activists and his genre-straddling work with Idle Warship and others caused Kweli to realize that he was limited in a sense, a prisoner of sorts of his own success as one of the world’s best rappers with something significant to say.