Not much to say about this one: it’s a free “album” – Liberation barely clocks over 30 minutes – released by Talib Kweli and Madlib at the very start of January whose sole purpose is to advertise each individual artists’ upcoming and more important projects. And I’m guessing based on how last-minute it sounds that it didn’t get anyone excited for shit.
Talib Kweli does what he can: the first verse of “The Show” is one of his best: “Your name smaller than five grains of cous-cous / It’s the highest caliber, your caliber is deuce-deuce / Shoot, y’all niggas can’t hang like a loose noose / I get on stage, niggas in my ear like a Bluetooth / And that’s the triple truth, Ruth, they lips is loose like / The Senor Love Daddy in the bulletproof booth.” Elsewhere, “Engine Runnin’” might be worth listening to hear where Eminem copped the “corner of my cornea” bit for “3 A.M.” a few years later (a “highlight” on Relapse). And though the Talib Kweli of 2007 and onwards sharpened his flow and no longer shoved as many syllables into each line as possible, he also lost what made him unique. It doesn’t help that listening to Liberation, you wouldn’t know you were in the presence of one of the best producers in the biz; Madlib doesn’t bring a single beat worth talking about. In other words, skip this and proceed straight to Eardrum if you want Talib Kweli or the reissue of 2003’s Champion Sound if you want Madlib.