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Talib Kweli: Gutter Rainbow Reflections

January 28, 2011NewsComments

By Souleo Childhood experiences are some of the most enduring and impactful memories.As a boy growing up in Brooklyn, Talib saw gutters that ran with dirt, oil and water, revealing a shimmering rainbow to his child's eyes.Drawing his new album's title from this memory Talib looks back while sonically moving forward.In this edition of his Takeover Talib shares his most profound childhood memories and offers us a peek into his personal development.

 

The loss of innocence with the N word

When I played soccer at ten years old, I was the only Black kid on the team.I had a race with a White kid, and I won.In my moment of glory I said, "I won!"He then said "Of course you did, you're a n*gger."Although I'm sure I was aware of the word, I had never heard it used in that way and I was thrown off.I said profanity back to him but that was it.The next time I heard that word was when a bully called my little brother out of his name.I didn't take it so lightly that time.I haven't been called that to my face since.

 

Learning to stand up and fight for what's right

I remember going to the rally on Washington, D.C. in 1982 to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national holiday.My mom took me and although I was very young, I remember seeing all of those people on the National Mall.I remember seeing Stevie Wonder perform "Happy Birthday," and I will never forget that.

 

Gaining a love for music

Every summer my family would have a family reunion at Lido Beach in Long Island.My father and his cousins would set up their DJ equipment, we would rent a couple of tables and we would spend the entire day there.The songs that were played have become my favorites of all time.I cherish those memories.

 

January 28, 2011NewsComments