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Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek

Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek are an anomaly in hip hop today: the total package. Though probably best recognized as "the other half" of Black Star (the critically acclaimed 1998 pairing of Kweli and the mighty Mos Def), Kweli holds it down on just lovely on his own. Musically and lyrically, Reflection Eternal has the lofty, conscious sensibilities of the late '80s/early '90s Native Tongues clique. However, Kweli also has the Afrocentric political sensibilities of a Public Enemy or a KRS-One, as his work in the Free Mumia movement and protests against the Amadou Diallo murder thoroughly demonstrate.

As an MC, Kweli's lyrics are as a visual as a Slick Rick and his battle rhymes are as potent as a Kool G Rap. Production-wise, DJ Hi-Tek is more than apt at that straight boom-bap ish and his music can be just as soulful. Their previous Rawkus single, "Fortified Live" b/w "2000 Season" is an underground classic. Reflection Eternal is hip hop through and through. Though you might not see them coming (like many a Rawkus release), their presence will make itself known when they've arrived.