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Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story

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From one of the most lyrically gifted and socially conscious rappers of the past twenty years, Vibrate Higher is a firsthand account of hip-hop as a political force

Before Talib Kweli became a world-renowned hip-hop artist, he was a Brooklyn kid who liked to cut class, spit rhymes, and wander the streets of Greenwich Village with a motley crew of artists, rappers, and DJs who found hip-hop more inspiring than their textbooks (much to the chagrin of the educator parents who had given their son an Afrocentric name in hope of instilling in him a more traditional sense of pride and purpose). Kweli’s was the first generation to grow up with hip-hop as an established culture—a genre of music that has expanded to include its own pantheon of heroes, rich history and politics, and distinct worldview.

Eventually, childhood friendships turned into collaborations, and Kweli gained notoriety as a rapper in his own right. From working with some of hip-hop’s greatest—including Mos Def, Common, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Kendrick Lamar—to selling books out of the oldest African-American bookstore in Brooklyn, and ultimately leaving his record label and taking control of his own recording career, Kweli tells the winding, always compelling story of the people and events that shaped his life as well as the culture of hip-hop that informs American culture at large.

Vibrate Higher illuminates Talib Kweli’s upbringing and artistic success and gives life to hip-hop as a political force—one that galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement and serves as a continual channel for resistance against the rising tide of white nationalism.

ISBN-13: 9781250787385

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Picador

Publication Date: 02-15-2022

Pages: 336

Product Dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Talib Kweli is one of the world’s most talented and accomplished hip-hop artists. Whether working with Mos Def as one half of Black Star, partnering with the producer Hi-Tek for Reflection Eternal, releasing landmark solo material, or collaborating with Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Just Blaze, J Dilla, or Madlib, Kweli commands attention by delivering top-tier lyricism, crafting captivating stories, and showing the ability to rhyme over virtually any type of instrumental. In 2011, Kweli founded Javotti Media, a record label and a platform for independent thinkers and doers, and in 2019, he launched the weekly podcast People’s Party with Talib Kweli.

Table of Contents

Prologue 3

1 Stakes Is High 9

2 Growing Up Greene 19

3 Gifted and Talented 30

4 The Poetry of Practicality 39

5 The Word Became Flesh 44

6 The Cipher 53

7 Village People 66

8 God Lives Thru 75

9 The Nigga Ya Love to Hate 85

10 The salad Days 95

11 Friends with Rappers 99

12 The Best Is Yet to Come 109

13 1995 118

14 The Peaceful Warrior 130

15 Black Star Keep Shining 138

16 The Eighth Light 146

17 The Joy 156

18 The Bizness 165

19 Reflections of Our Ancestors 173

20 Spitkickers 179

21 The Strange Land 187

22 Wake Up, Mr. West! 194

23 Family. Matters. 209

24 Blacksmith Music 219

25 Shadows of Tomorrow 230

26 Independent's Day 237

27 Knowledge of Wealth 246

28 Dillagence 253

29 Twitter Fingers 260

30 Defenders of the Dream 271

31 My President Is Black 293

32 Trump's Amerikkka 300

33 The Story of Mama 307

34 The Beginning 317