Talib Kweli links with Jimmy Fallon to discuss Biggie and 2Pac's friendship, hearing his name on Jay-Z's "Moment Of Clarity," and more.
People's Party podcast host and esteemed lyricist Talib Kweli has officially wrapped up his new memoir Vibrate Higher, and in promotion of the new book, the rapper hit up Jimmy Fallon's tonight show to share a few anecdotes and hip-hop tales.
Early on, Fallon notes that Talib's new memoir is essential reading for any hip-hop head, citing stories about 2Pac and Biggie from back when the rapper was promoting events in New York. "Shout out to Jessica Rosenblum," says Talib. "She was one of the great New York party promoters. She used to work with Diddy back in the day, he went by Puffy back then. I used to work for Jessica Rosenblum. Biggie would be at these parties she would throw, and Biggie and 2Pac used to hang out together. 2Pac was a big huge rap star before Biggie was known."
Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
"Pac would come hang out in New York and get that authentic New York experience from Biggie and Puff," continues Talib. "Every club they would go to, he'd be there. When I was promoting parties with Jessica, I've been in the clubs, partying with 2Pac and Biggie and seeing their real friendship." After Jimmy Fallon shifts gears to Talib's lyrical prowess, the rapper reflects on the time he first heard his name mentioned in Jay-Z's "Moment Of Clarity," where Hov raps "If skills sold truth be told / I'd probably be lyrically Talib Kweli."
Santiago Felipe/Getty Images
"Jay-Z had rapped on the remix to my biggest song 'Get By," reflects Talib. "We had a burgeoning relationship. It was Busta Rhymes that called me and told me about it. I was in the studio and Busta called me, and he was like 'did you hear the new Hov album? He shouts you out.'" After referencing the specific Jay bars, Talib admits that the co-sign gave him a welcome dose of validation. "It made me feel I was in the right place I needed to be in," explains Kweli. "I spend all this time trying to be the best rapper. Jay-Z is considered to be the best rapper by so many people, and he's mentioning my name. That means I did my job." He can't help but laugh. "But then I thought, if I rapped more about money, maybe I'd have a lot more money."
For more from Talib Kweli, who recently finished up his new memoir Vibrate Higher, peep the complete Tonight Show interview below.