Brooklyn emcee Talib Kweli recently defended his decision to become involved with the Pepsi Max NFL Playoffs campaign and addressed the speculation that he may have “sold out”.
Kweli believes his track record as a lyricist has paved a lane for him to reap the financial benefits of commercial endorsements.
“There’s a segment of my fan base that wants to believe that I’m in some basement somewhere with a notebook, with a backpack on, writing rhymes to Eminem instrumentals or something,” says Kweli. “So the idea that at this point, I’m 35-years-old and there’s no music business, and I have grown man responsibilities, so of course I’m going to get paid for my craft. And I’m going to work with companies that are willing to support the lifestyle.” (Billboard)
The rap veteran also analyzed the definition of a “sell-out” in 2011.
“There’s a generation growing up that doesn’t understand that music is paid, but just because you get it for free doesn’t mean that someone’s not paying for it,” says Kweli. “Someone’s still got to pay for it. So you’ve got to figure, ‘Well, how is this person going to pay for it?’ You’ve got to loosen your idea of what selling out is, when you’re not participating in supporting the culture.” (Billboard)
Kweli is one of many rap stars involved in the campaign.
Pepsi linked up with Lupe Fiasco to present his own Pepsi MAX NFL Audible advert in support of his home town NFL team Chicago Bears, who will be competing against the Green Bay Packers this Sunday (23rd January) in the NFC title game. Pepsi MAX NFL Audible adverts bring together Hip-Hop artists to record original songs for the playoff games, in support of their hometown teams. Big Boi, Talib Kweli and B.o.B have all recorded their own Pepsi MAX NFL Audible ads. (Soul Culture)
Aside from the Pepsi campaign, Kweli recently revealed his biggest regret of 2010 to SOHH.
“Biggest regret of 2010 was probably not making absolutely sure that the Reflection Eternal album had me and Hi-Tek‘s name on it,” Kweli told SOHH via a statement. “This deep into the game I should’ve worked harder to ensure retailers knew who Reflection was. I sent mad e-mails to the label and trusted them to handle it, figuring it was in their best interest as well; but hey hindsight is 20/20.” (SOHH)
Check out Lupe Fiasco’s Pepsi NFL advertisement below: