Release Date: May 18, 2010
Record label: Warner Bros.
Reflection Eternal :: Revolutions Per MinuteWarner Bros. RecordsAuthor: Steve 'Flash' Juon"Never see, happy hungry people that ain't rationalThey blastin through the gates and they attack you at the capitolRun up in your palace, find the heads of state and crack a fewGet a taste of power then, they become fascists tooThe fiscal, conservatives, don't know what they purpose isPut money on the war then they cut your goods and servicesMurderous corporate monsters is breakin records, Exxonis at 40 billion a year, they rakin in record profits - stop it!How they bankin while the auto industry is tankin?Leadership is sankin, oil pollution in the water stankinLoyalty, to petroleum royalty spoil the economyWe won't get it poppin 'til we oil freeIf you're oil rich then we invadinThey call occupation but we losin jobs across the nationDrill baby drill while they make our soldiers kill baby stillThe desert where the blood and oil spill. .
Reuniting a decade after their debut, Train of Thought, Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek return with another collaboration under their Reflection Eternal moniker. Despite the gap between albums, Kweli and Hi-Tek still have the same chemistry that’s followed them from project to project. Hi-Tek’s soul-infused beats create the perfect laid-back atmosphere for Kweli’s casual verbal acrobatics, crafting beats that bring the listener into the group's chilled-out space with their minimal aesthetic.
It’s been nearly a decade since the first Reflection Eternal album, Train of Thought, though the cover of that album played down the duo’s moniker by stressing their individual names, Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek, to capitalize on the success of the Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Blackstar album, which Hi-Tek also produced. The ten-year gap doesn’t mean that the pair hasn’t been busy, or that they haven’t collaborated on individual songs over the years. It does mean that expectations are high.
On the 2007 song “Holy Moly,” Brooklyn cult god Talib Kweli accurately noted that his music draws from an ample array of genres: “Funk, jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, gospel.” With each oeuvre, Kweli defies all the backpacker talk, proving that, Jay-Z aside, he is perhaps the world’s most eclectic and adaptable rapper. He has recorded jolting tracks with everyone from Norah Jones to Madlib, will.i.am to DJ Quik, rarely penciling in time for the rote, unimaginative radio concessions that have plagued fellow Rawkus affiliate Common. Kweli’s strongest solo efforts, 2002’s Quality and 2007’s Eardrum, are tastefully restrained but effervescent.
As odd as it sounds, it's hard to imagine a new Reflection Eternal album as any kind of comeback. The duo's Train of Thought was one of the reasons indie rap felt so vibrant in 2000, and 10 years later it's an underground classic. But from that point onwards, Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek have been doing good for themselves on their own. Ever since Jay-Z pointed to him as a lyrical ideal on The Black Album's "Moment of Clarity", Kweli seems to have treated it as both an honor and a challenge.