Related Artists

Black Star


Jay Dee (A.K.A. J Dilla)


Little Brother


Pharoahe Monch


Jurassic 5


Mos Def


De La Soul


Pete Rock


Method Man


Slum Village

Talib Kweli Biography


Home > Music > K > Kweli, Talib > Biography


Birth Name: Talib Kweli Greene
Born: 1974/10/03
Birth Place: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
Years Active: 1997–present
Genres: Alternative Hip Hop


Talib Kweli Greene (born October 3, 1974), better known as Talib Kweli, is an American MC from Brooklyn, New York. His first name in Arabic means "student" or "seeker" and his middle name in Swahili means "truth". Kweli first gained recognition through Black Star, a collaboration with fellow MC Mos Def.

Kweli made his underground debut in 1995, with featured appearances on "Doom", an album by Cincinnati, Ohio group Mood (Main Flow, Donte, Jahson). Shortly afterwards, upon returning to New York, he connected with Mos Def and formed Black Star. Their first and only album was 1998's “Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star.” It reached #53 on the Billboard 200 chart and #13 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

“Quality,” his first solo album, was released on November 19, 2002 under Rawkus Records. The album was met with wide spread critical acclaim and received some mainstream attention thanks to the Kanye West-produced single "Get By." The album reached #21 on the Billboard 200 chart and #6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

In 2004, he released his second solo album and final Rawkus release, “The Beautiful Struggle,” which debuted at no.14 in the billboard top 100. In 2005, Kweli released a Mixtape-CD off of his newly formed Blacksmith Records. The project was called “Right About Now: The Official Sucka Free Mix CD.” Mos Def appeared on the track “Supreme Supreme” the first such collaboration since Kweli's “Quality” album in 2002. The single was “Flash Gordon.”

“Eardrum” was released on Aug 21, 2007. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 selling about 60,000 copies in its first week, making it Kweli's highest debuting album to date. On its second week it fell to #20 with sales of 25,000 copies, selling a total of 85,500 units. The first single was “Listen!!!.”

November 18, 2010 Kweli released the first single “Cold Rain” from his forthcoming fifth studio album “Gutter Rainbows.”