Talib Kweli And Estelle Talk Female Emcees, Kanye, And UK Hip-Hop (Full Episode) | People’s Party

Talib Kweli And Estelle Talk Female Emcees, Kanye, And UK Hip-Hop (Full Episode) | People’s Party

I don’t know if you wan’t us to ask you this, uh, Jermaine Dupri when he talked about Emcees, they’re only talking about their, vaginas, cuz I hate that P word. — Mm-hmm — And you know, you being a you know, Emcee What do you feel about that? I think he needed to have Googled before he said that. There are so many Emcees out there that do more There’s so much variety now. I said a few months ago, I’m so happy with the state of female rap right now Everyone from Tiarra Whack, to Rhapsody , and Rhapsody actually been doing this all the way through to Chameleon Meghan Thee Stallion, like man, are you serious firing? Like what are you talking about? I love you Jemaine Dupri, you a legend, but this is crazy. What’s up Party People it’s Talib Kweli, you are now tuned into the People’s Party. Welcome back to the People’s Party Once again, we have the lovely and talented and a wonderful Jasmine Lee in the place to be, people give it up What’s up, Jasmine how you feeling? — I’m feeling amazing today — Now today is a special episode and you get to practice your cockney accent What? My Elizabeth from Manchester? — I don’t know if that’s right, but we’re gonna find out because Today’s guest is from the UK She’s a friend of mine, a singer, a songwriter, a performer, a super emcee she is the author and the producer and the creator of several critically acclaimed albums, your children might know her as Garnett in Steven’s Universe. We know her as Estelle, give it up for Estelle in the place to be Thank you for coming to join us at the People’s Party — Thank you for having me — now I called you a super MC because And I want to get this right because I’ve met, we’ve known each other for a long time –Yeah — and I think the world thinks of you as a singer. — Yeah — but I think of you as an emcee I feel like when I read Jay-Z’s book I’ve said this before, he talks about how everything he has Started with putting that pen to paper and writing them rhymes and being an emcee So do you push back at all when people just think of you as a singer and don’t add the emcee part. — Absolutely Its how I actually write my songs so — like a rapper — yeah, and I feel that makes them catchy like we were writing The most popular record that everyone knows American Boy, we wrote that like a rap Just write rhymes, — right — you know and I wrote that with John Legend He first discovered me as an emcee, you know, so that was — Well I feel like you discovered him. — This is true I mean not discovered. She ain’t put him on. Well, it went the other way around we yeah, you know I heard his voice and I really liked him off of the mixtapes and Our connection wasn’t off of him coming and saying oh look there she is It was more like I’d heard him I was here right place right time and I wanted to work with him and I put it out there. As I loved my Really great scenarios have happened, I put it out there. I really want to do this Well, you created them, you ran up on Kanye in a restaurant — Pretty much. Do you remember the name of the restaurant? — Roscoe’s — What the? Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles?! Right on Gower Yeah, let’s talk about that, let’s talk about it. I’m gonna give you a backstory right, this is my friend Jasmine Lee she hosts the show And she’s been developing she’s a comedian Okay, and she’s been developing this this British character Elizabeth But she’s ran into some people told her that her accent, she met with some white people from the UK, who told she she sounded more cockney He said I was cockney and I was like, what does that mean it? — I don’t know if that’s Cockney I don’t know either which is why I’m glad you’re here, so you can clear this up Can you tell I’m from Manchester? Not Manchester even. Where should I say I’m from? But this is the question, right As Americans I feel like people from the UK can do American accents very good because y’all invented English Yeah But I feel like we do it on some, like funny style shit because it just sounds Fancy and frilly to us with our limited knowledge. Is it offensive when people do that? It’s not offensive except for when people like say silly things, like “oh h I’m taking the piss” — Oh my god! Don’t say that, you get offensive, here’s other words come on and then it’s like when you when people doing it like “oh” It’s like okay, that’s Canadian they go up Right I practice, I go to different stores then I’ll do my accent and people, like I went to H&M a couple of weeks ago and they really thought I was from London So I was like, you know, — I mean if they thought you were from L ondon then you’re good. Yeah and then he mimicked me and I said, “are you mimicking me?” and he got so offended and he followed me around the store and was like I’m so sorry. I love your accent This is amazing Because it’s like she’s on the way there and I’d just be like ah, it’s not British, stop it You know what she sound like, she sound like Monie Love — Yeah — She’s still. She still got the accent, but she’s been living in the States so long — Yeah — and Monie been living not just in New York or LA she been in the States So when you follow Monie on Instagram, she slide into some like Country-fied slang and then go back into her London thing This is crazy. People been out here telling me that I’ve lost my accent and I’m like first of all People in the UK tell you that? — Both sides they’re like but you don’t sound English and I’m like, what does the english sound like to you right? And then they’re like You know like Amy Winehouse. And I’m like, first of all Love her. That’s my girl. Yeah, second of all, we don’t, I never spoke spoke like that I never like was super hard North London or East London Cockney. I’m from West First of all, it’s like saying, it’s New York versus Philly versus DC and Baltimore. It’s like different slangs with it, you know, so I That’s not how I sound Second of all travel a little bit further, third of all — Right — I don’t get offended any more more than that Just be like, okay, okay so, both of us are from New York and New York is very similar to London in that the Afro-caribbean connection was very strong in our inner cities in our hoods, and I feel it obviously as a musician that’s influenced you you Magically are able to do any genre of music Black Girl Magic I guess, you know, which is actually just science right — it is but speak on living, growing up with like Senegalese, Grenaden household parents and how that Influences your sound because in this era you’re living in America You see what’s going on with immigration and you see what’s going on even in black communities. I’m sure you do — Yes — where people are trying to cause division between African black people caribbean black people american black people black people from the UK. Can you speak on that? Uh, so many things to say about that. I start I grew up West Indian and African For all intents and purposes Africa, my mom Raised us. My step dad wasn’t around since I was about four my mom never wanted to discount my actual dad’s origin Which is Grenadian my step dad happened to be Grenadian, too So I’ve got to know the culture right but I was raised African, you know My grandma and them had us down aunties all of them uncles whatever, right? So I call myself African but I know the culture so well, you know as I get older I know all the other cultures So as I get older my mom starts like really making sure we understand the West Indian side, you know someone will go stay with my stepdads mom and she’ll make sure we knew about the roti and and Fishing, you know and all the food and all the culture, right? So I started to feel part of the whole diaspora type of thing, but then I’m in London, you know and I’m English too to a degree, you know, so I come here and And I’m you know, we’ve known eachother for a very long time, as I started emceeing, my my one of my greatest Mentors and the people I kind of respect the most Who I used to listen to and follow them as an emcee in the UK is a guy called Rodney Peete. — Yeah Rodney Peete, shout out to Rodney Peete — Yeah, he’s in a group called London Posse and they were essentially Jamaican emcees Reggae emcees who rapped right in English accent and just had you know use dancehall as their base like the slang and the way they used to move and so I would listen to the way he rapped and I would just Formulate my lyrics over that so to me This the the evolution of my music on that side of it That’s all it comes from reggae from dancehall from that from that from that base with African music from all of that Coming here. It was kind of like well fit into one of these boxes and I was like, ah, can I curse? — Yes you can — Fuck all that, I’m not — Oh my god you can’t curse on here! — I’m just gonna do what I did. You know, this got me here. I don’t know you people like that I’m just gonna do what I do And I did that American boy was me doing my best English version of events As far, a ditzy woman singing I said parodied it after one of the women on Hi-Dee-Hi Which is an old-school english show and she would just be super ditzy and sing and talk like this in the show and so they were like “Yo, make it feel light” And I was like, “all right”, so I Stood in the room and I went into that character and I sang American Boy, right? And so to me like all those things are part of me So being here now watching, you know, 10 years to 12 years after that watching everybody try to re-divide Everybody and push everyone apart. I think what we did, what I did with this album Lover’s Rock, was my Unknowingly I just said fuck all that again. We’re gonna push everything back together. You’re gonna pull everything we just did the Essence Fest and I was, my whole spirit energy for that show was like, you know, I know what they’re saying, you know this is about time and I don’t think it’s a mistake that we’re here right now doing this show with solo artists, reggae artists, American artists, hip-hop artists and we’re all Here and we’re all doing this music together and we’re standing in here and we’re sweating and we’re having a good time and we’re one Don’t let no one push, don’t let no one do that to us you know, I’m like I’m personally passionate about it because I’ve experienced it from Everybody I’ve know I’ve gotten it from “Who do you think you are?” you know “You’re not really you’re not really black” or “you’re not really American.” I’m not but you know, “You’re not really English? You’re not really and you’re not really West Indian,” but you know, I’ve had West Indians come up to me and try to test me a nd I’m like, first of all, you know, and then start clapping And it’s just very much like yo, there’s so much against us I always pull it back to the point when I was like I was like Seven or eight in school, right? And my mom says then I went from school and this kid was like, girl was like going in on me “You black, you this, you that, you African you this you that” And she was mixed-race right, half black half white and my mom said to me “You go back and tell her, “If the NF” Which is our Ku Klux Klan, “the NF is running off to any of you at school They come chase you down the street from school. Guess who they running after? All of you So you’re all black, tell her that!” So I’m at school and I told her that she shut her mouth She never bothered me for the rest of time in her, you know big So to me, I using that I always go back to that analogy Look if if someone who doesn’t like you or if an entity that don’t like you is coming for you There’s no version of shades here. So what are you? So we’ll be fine. But what we doing? — Mm-hmm — How we not all saying? “Yo, let’s come together in little things like music” Yeah How how we going to do it if we can’t even do that with the music and the music is the thing that we all listen to? Yeah, I think music is the starting point And that is what brings everybody together because look at afro beats Like literally almost every black person these days are listening to Afro Beats. — I’ve seen them in Croatia I saw this on chop lady in Croatia. These girls was out here giving me all the new dances. Oh I was like “wait wait wait wait!” I Love it. I love it. I love it. — You’ve spoke on, um, you know, people not understanding that we are all one If you’re seen as black whether you’re light-skinned dark-skinned mixed, whatever you are beautiful black woman And you have beautiful African features and in a Western society People don’t praise these features and people don’t praise. They don’t mean yeah, I’ve seen we did brown skin lady Yeah The reason we did that song is because at that time in our career at that time a hip-hop It was hard to find a hip-hop video that had Yeah, a woman who wasn’t like mixed with Asian or something like that. Yeah Can you speak on? Colorism issues that you may have faced in industry. Yeah this is this is part of the whole when I came here people was telling me I should be and Okay, mom again, I shout my mom, she did a really good job of raising us My whole thing is like I don’t I don’t take home what’s not for me. That’s not an issue for me Personally, that’s fine. You could say I don’t care. It doesn’t resonate with me Right. Yeah and it never really resonated with me and it really bothered me when people would say “Well you,” I have one person who said to me, who was a friend and I had to get rid of that person He was like, “you know you’re a brown girl You’re only gonna go about far and stop” mmm, this is right before American Boy blew up and whatnot so then they’re no longer here, right, you know, but You know in the middle of it and all that all the hype and everything was moving in the careers of my career was moving To another level. I reminded him of what he said and I said, “Huh. We stopping huh?” Mhm, you know and and I was just like but that’s my point. I don’t care about what you say There’s no so far and just stop he didn’t even think I was gonna get two Grammys, you know He’s kind of just like “yeah, that single may go” I was like all right, you know this I’m sorry, but it’s just that I Don’t take it on I don’t absorb it. I don’t let it sit in my space. Oh, they said my psyche I see it happening. Mmm It does frustrate me when I see other people taking it and making it a thing — Right — because I see I look at it in the same way man. That’s not for you that’s nothing to do with you Why you even don’t give that the props be a brown-skinned woman define fuck out of them words. Mm-hmm and Give them something to talk about in aspect. You know what I mean, like you do that stuff, you know like There’s too many of us out here succeeding for that tool. — That’s right — Every week. Yeah, that’s why it’s important for us to not have so many divisions between people in the diaspora Because we need the numbers. — Hell, yeah — and we got to know it’s theirs we do It’s just about coming together. And and you say that you don’t touch on stuff because you know, it doesn’t resonate with you but how do you respond to that because that is a learned behavior and that we need to start having our black brothers and sisters unlearned because That’s a sickness to think that you’re not gonna go far because you’re brown. — I think that we’re learning it. I Met so many different spaces where I see it being unlearned and I see it Just not even resonating for some people I was at I do Steven Universe And I play Garnet and she’s made up of two female cisgender female gems who are married and they make Garnet, they fuse and they make Garnet right and I didn’t know anything about this until I joined the show halfway through the show. I was like, oh, this is crazy This is gonna you know, people gonna feel so good about this and You know I go to cons and I go to these different events and whatnot. And I’m just like this is This is beautiful. We were just at BlerdCon, right and It was — was that in DC? — In DC And it was so many young black people All shades all colors — Who needed that representation — Needed that representation and and not even just black people It’s everybody because I guess it comes down to us just being who we are and people just seeing the example of who they are So I don’t like to go down the lane on it. I rather just be like cool. I’m still I’m here though mm-hm if you don’t feel like You don’t see yourself in whatever I’m here though You know and I want people to just stand and be there and like get all that other stuff out of the way Okay, that’s fine. You said all of that, but I’m here though, and I can you know, I can be here for you I’m late whatever the whatever the Decided genders whatever the sexuality is. I Just look at it like love is the base bottom line like and if you stand in that That’s what it that’s what it should be and that should be enough to represent everybody You can find something from that whether you’re gay straight Whatever you call yourself, you know what I mean? And Dark, like who were like you can stand in that somebody’s up there representing you and that’s what I tried to go towards You know, I don’t all the other stuff is too hard Mm-hmm — you know and it’s too it’s it gets it distracts. You makes you feel heavy. Yeah, you know That cartoon is revolutionary for a lot of reasons I Remember, I you know my assistant Donna who’s like also my good friend. She loves cartoons, and I’ve seen Steven’s Universe I’ve never sat and watched an episode But I’ve seen it on in the background while I was working and one day I’m watching I see this Black woman character with this afro, and I’m like, I’m like what’s going on? And I turned it up right and you know, I you and me spoke last year. Yeah, I How long you been doing that character — Six years — right So I didn’t even know it was you, I found out last year it was you, but when I saw it I didn’t know it was you, I remember turning it up like “whoever does that voice is from the hood for real” Yo they got someone from the hood for that character. –Before we even go further I have to say this my little sister and my mom Love your character so much, they were so excited I was gonna meet you So I just had to say that before we go further. — Hey Mommy and Sis Speaking of you talked about Caribbean people testing you. — Yeah — and you know for Brooklyn so I already know how that goes So now Lover’s Rock is on VP records. — Yeah, its on VP — So VP records for me I’m not as well versed in dancehall and reggae as maybe I should be being from Brooklyn Yeah, but being for Brooklyn, is it possible to get around the impact of VP records? For what it means in reggae or what it means just for the culture to be a part of that movement and I remember thinking when I saw, started seeing the press for Lover’s Rock. Yeah Estelle V P I’m like in my brain. I’m like knowing what I know about you? I’m like that makes so much sense Yeah, I can see that makes so much sense. Yeah You started out as an Emcee. I met you at Deal Real were you rapping when I met you, right? So when I met Estelle, she was selling records. I was doing an in-store at the store Yeah, and I didn’t know she rapped I don’t know if you mention it to me, but you had me on your remix for freedom Uh-huh, you know when you were first doing that first album. Yeah, and they just, you know, take us a bit Through your journey of starting out as an Emcee American Boy then you’re sort of looked at as like a singing diva and now is like I’m going back to my the Roots on VP records. — Yeah, man, so I started but, here’s the root of it like I said I started as an Emcee and heavily influenced by reggae and rap right yourself and Mos, Yasiin, my bad That Black Star album felt like dancehall — Yeah– felt like reggae dance. — Yeah you know and I was smothered in dancehall — That’s the word smothered in dancehall We felt it in a different way, you know and you will come out performing It just be like be like a jam, like the blues, like a dance right? So like we felt that in a different way, and I was I loved it I was just like, you know, this is this feels like they’re from round here like it’s crazy so, you know, obviously you guys come over and we met and we you know, we stayed friends and my first album comes out and I had I still had the independent headspace about it and I still to this day and I’m you know And I’m on my label with VP, which is you know, another thing that I felt like I needed to continue to do You know just keep consistently keep my production keep my unit together but I have my label back then and you know and everything just everything has just been like a an evolving process I’ve tried not to do is separate The character of Estelle from the art. Mmm. I always want to keep it on the same page. — Absolutely — You know, I think that’s always that’s worked for me as a human. That’s worked for me as an artist t I see people get one way or the other they go too far into themselves Or they go too far into the art and I just tried to keep a middle lane where I can do both Yeah because I want to do this. You know, I enjoy doing this I feel like I’m here doing it for a reason, but I have to live and be a human and evolve So it like that. You know the first few records are rap I didn’t want to do that for a while no more I’m still gonna write like a rapper, but I’m not gonna straight rap because I’m bored. Mmm. It’s not fun anymore No one’s talking about things. I just Is not fun. That was that that was a smooth– that’s gotta be your driving force you do that when there’s no fans around yeah, and I was like rapping to myself and I was like this is, this is, trash You know, I would look at my rap side this is terrible it wasn’t fun Like my people weren’t that spurred me on what anymore so I was like, okay well where am I going with my spirit taking me kind of vibe and it was more singing and John was like “So just sing” you know, sometimes it’s the most obvious thing and then here we are with American Boy and you know And it’s evolved and I love it cause then I started looking at myself. Well, I’ve always looked at myself as a musician, right? I started really looking at it like, you know you really are able to do all these things Why you confine yourself to this? And you sing all over your rap records Try a whole singing album pretty much, you know, and that was all of me That wasn’t even shine cuz shine had rap all over it too. But All of Me was more the singing album And then True Romance. I was doing more evolving just trying different sounds and Lovers Rock was the album that everyone kept asking me to do, but I said “Now hold on a second. I’m not auntie yet” Before I’d say I’m like I’m like boy, I was like twelve twelve nieces and nephews I’m a real auntie’s crazy, but not in that way But like more like I feel like I get and I could do the music without feeling like, who’s this young girl? Out here trying to sing reggae, you know — So you have that much respect for it You like you look at it like an OG thing. Yeah if I’m a touchdown sound Oh come with a certain wisdom and experience — A hundred percent. That’s exactly it — I have a Question just because I don’t know if you wan’t us to ask you this, uh, Jermaine Dupri When he talked about Emcees, they’re only talking about their, vaginas, cuz I hate that p-word. — Mm-hmm — And you know, that’s just not true. That’s really just like the mainstream people So you being a you know, Emcee what do you feel about that? I think he needed to have googled before he said that there are so many Emcees out there that do more There’s so much variety. Now. I said a few months ago. I’m so happy with the state of female right right now everyone from Tierra Whack Rapsody, Rapsody actually been doing this all the way through to Chameleon and Megan Thee Stallion, like man, are you serious firing like what are you talking about? I love you Jemaine Dupri, you a legend, but this is crazy. It’s just Google before you talk not. All right, stop, right? Because it is it almost discounts all of their work and it’s not alright to do that Like don’t diminish these women cuz you don’t get to hear this or the one person on top Is this person that’s granted, but then you know what you could have said sir Hi There’s there’s definitely that but there’s also this how about you shine a light on them instead of saying they don’t exist And the question was actually like who was his favorite emcee right now so he could have just said “no one” instead of saying “no one because” — oh he could have said oh you coulda just said There’s there’s there’s these people I can’t decide on one not to diminish our whole bunch of women who are out here Fighting for this spot, you know against all odds against that same right? Man You know better and then the industry side of me goes How did you just say that to have a piece that to be in the conversation this week? You know, I think that you know what it is. So it’s um as you were answering I’m sort of really figuring out the best way for me to say this because it’s like you don’t want to take away from the fact that I agree with you I agree that he should have googled and he should have done more research But I think what happens is and I’m not justifying this. I’m just explaining it People who become successful at this music get into and I’m sure you know this as well Know people like this. We all of us myself included get into this real privileged space Where because we’re successful We don’t always know How to reach out and know what’s going on, you know, he described himself as a gatekeeper which he is even like he he did a thing later sort of to apologize to be like well, I’m gonna do this contest and People for female emcees and the way he did it the way he rolled it out people got upset at it because they’re like Well that still tone-deaf because you know like your you’re going about it all wrong and he sees himself as a gatekeeper Now there’s an argument to be made that. Yeah for years Jermaine Dupri was a gatekeeper. He brought us The Brat Excellent female MC, you know, but just because you brought us The Brat so many years ago Don’t mean that you know What’s going on now? Just because you were gatekeeper for so many years and we got to give him respect There is no Atlanta hip-hop without Jermaine Dupri — Oh, yeah, that’s the thing But because you were that dude for us for that many years you may not know what exactly who’s popping right now I likem I agree, but I lightly disagree because Google and Instagram exists, right? You expect him to work harder at it you if you were gate keeper your I your job is to have your ear to the street or have your peoples have their ear to The street and give you the information. Yeah, like I’m sitting here I don’t I sit and I look you know, I’m not the person that’s up there rapping every single day or whatever But I know what’s happening in the UK. I know who the girls are. I’m never gonna discount any of them Miss Banks’s and you know and whoever else is out there doing this Steph and Alec and Holly and all the them I’m not discounting any of them girls at the same time I’m giving Steph London her props. I’m saying I’m giving all that, Little Sims her props, even all of these girls Don’t lady shit, so many in LA like this scene right now, — But I think we actually agree or what I’m saying Just trying to get sort of give people the insight because I’m not excusing it you know what I’m saying. It’s a similar I’m glad you vote of UK because let’s take it to the UK Yeah, as a rapper from the states whenever I go over to UK, they’d be like who you like from the UK? Yeah, you know now back in the day you can you know, I could be like I like Sway I like Estelle I’m like Tired Shorty blitz. Yeah, but that’s because that’s hwo was picking me up an airport I don’t really know if you asked me now. Like Kano We hung out and I had a good time They’re the new guy. Yeah, you know I hear about them because that’s what younger people are talk about Yeah, but because I’m a rapper from the states because hip hop was created in the States and our Privilege in the States is we got the best hip hop we feel so we never had to pay attention to nobody Yeah, right so I Travel in the world. I travel the world more than anybody I don’t have to pay attention to no other country just a rapper from the states People are gonna come and pay attention to me, right? I don’t have to do the homework of Knowing and that’s a privilege. I should work at it being a man and a male-dominated space and male-dominated industry. I I don’t I don’t have to be out here looking for females so if I’m gonna you know, if I’m I have to make it an extra effort to be like Let me let me take the time out because the industry and the society is not gonna help me with that It’s not gonna put that in my face and throughout my career from working with Jane Doe to the Jean Grey To Rapsody, like I’ve always I just you know, I’ve always tried to Have female Emcees on my records and even as I say it like Jean is a good friend of mine She pushes back against the whole even why are we even talking about female? — Exactly, I was just about to say that, it’s just Emcee Is that you know, I’m saying and I agree with her on that but because I live in a male-dominated society, — Yeah, it’s frustrating — and that’s the Industry period because like even with comedy it’s like if you’re on All-male lineup and then it’s a woman like “Ya’ll ready for a female comic” OK because the jokes won’t laugh the same Like just bring the next person onstage and I was at the same show and they were like “You need some female energy We got a female emcee” It’s like bro, we’re gonna see that they have a vagina when they get up She said they gonna see! What you mean, you know, I feel you I just it’s just that’s why I say like to a degree I was almost like You just trying to be part of the conversation? You viral fam? He had that contest and the works and if he just did that whole thing — that’s the part that had me like mmhmm — like a master of promotion yeah, we speaking about Jermaine Dupri from Atlanta you and I have Something else in commo n, we’ve both done songs with gucci mane. — We have — that’s right. I love you Mane So tell us about doing a song Gucci. — So This happened, the, the song with Gucci happened, people don’t know I definitely am for the trap Trap music trap before the trap. No, I think — Did you know the date that trap music started officially — August 13 wasn’t 1903-2003 We had T.I. on I missed the Trivia Question. Yes, August 19. — He gave us the specific date Trap music, that’s the day’s his album dropped Can we see if it was August 13 or 19 ? Because I need to know if I won. — That’s hilarious Anybody a fact checkers in the back, come on, somebody got phones. It’s Google fam! Hey Siri — no excuses That’s crazy I’m with it though, TI was dope well he still is. — Yeah Gucci. Um You know, –it’s the 19th — It’s the 19th? Sorry T. I so I worked on a record with Jerry Wanda, so I in between my albums. I just go write songs to write songs, right? and I wrote this hook For Jerry and I written verse and I didn’t like the verse. I said just keep the hook He played it for gucci mane and it’s a song called Finally Free “Grown Ass Man” And he did it and he released on the album right before he went back in. It was like I Was so pissed because it was like this the last time but it was just like I just saw it like we got the clearance papers and I was like Right because I’m a fan of it like right people don’t know that if you see me out in general I’m the person you might see in the back. Just enjoying her life with her headscarf on in the back of the club because I need to be and absorb the music right as an artist and I’m definitely, Ilove my trap music Yes, it’s so inspirational — It is it makes you, inspires me to dance — mm-hm Inspires me to twerk, to make money as me to make yes It allows me to work out, people don’t understand how motivating like a good, like Future Migos playlis is my favorite right now is Lil Baby. Oh Yeah, I was late to the party — Even by a one-two punch he be knocking niggas out while he’d be performing I only saw the dude he knocked out in the jewlery store No, that was there that the jewelry store fight there was another fight we onstage performing He just kept going I’ve never seen nothing like that in my life that is talent there baby No, I just I’m with anyone who is convicted about it their vibe, I’m not really with the copies I’m not really with the I’m not sure if I’m rapping people I like yo This is real like every single time. I hear you want to feature your stuff is It’s HAM. You know, it’s alright and that’s a lot is about Trap I like All right across the board. — So right In 2013 you started an independent label, I started independent label around 2011 you were before me — just by a couple years, you know, I I feel like I try not to have any regrets. Mmm, you know But if and if is a word that’s loaded with a lot of privilege because we can’t change how things are right Yeah, but if I had to go back I probably would have gone independent a lot earlier You know Get By was a huge record Get By was my American Boy, right? so I think what if I went independent around that time, you know, I look at artists that I respect like You know killer Mike and LP or you know certain people that would just you know remain independent and I’m like I had the privilege and the honor of being on a major label and getting that that system behind me for so many years but How would have been different for me if I was just independent at home? Do you think about that and has it been better for you? since you’ve gone independent — you know, I’ve worked so hard and so consistently my whole life there are definitely points when I was like, Oh my goodness. Can someone else do this for me? But at the same time, I know it’s the long game in the ownership game is no joke when you are In your 50s and your 40s and you that you can sit down and be like, yeah Let me get my Quincy Jones together and just work on music cuz I like to not because I have to you know And that was that was partly the decision behind doing it I saw a lot of my peers getting their life together and you know, like in doing these moves and I was like hold on Wait, oh, I’m helping you. I’m helping you live your life I mean, let me see if I can get famous myself and I know how to do it. You know, I started independently Why would I not do it and you know, and it’s a different space now you can you literally can There’s nothing stopping you from I’m grateful for the push and none of my path has been my mistake I think it’s all divinely guided I’m grateful for it But yeah, there was I don’t think it was a mistake that I learned how to I started independent, right? I don’t think it was remotely a mistake. I started as an independent Selling my CDs knowing how to shoot content, knowing how to shoot album sleeves when I was like 20, you know Like I don’t think it’s a mistake — Right now. I feel like everyone wants a package deal like they want people that can show that they have Engagement on social media that can get their own music video saying that they can write their own songs Kick their own beats, you got to do everything these days — Hundred percent and it’s tiring I tell people that you know, you tired now wait for it. Yeah Wait a minute when your eyeballs are like hey Hey Chill out. — Yeah, I think people don’t realize that. Well my opinion is that the easy play is To work for somebody else and that’s not to dis the working class because I consider myself a working class musician Yeah
But I do feel like it’s the harder and braver choice to say I’m not gonna take the safety net Or somebody making sure that I get a salary or paycheck and I’m gonna take the chance of you know I may not make no money this week — And and to that end this importance have smart people around you I’m very, my team is small but we they would say “we small but we thinkers,” you know We think we worked as smart as we can. I’m the risk-taker. I’m the like y’all Let’s shoot for that and they’re like “how you gonna get to that” and I’m like we’ll figure it out Let’s get to that you know and when we get there it gets there point out an example We had this Essence, a festival event that we just did, we’ve been like working on that for almost six years You know to get to this point, you know, and people looked at it like “this was great This is amazing how did ya’ll? and we’re like “six years” you know We shot at that from six years ago, and it just hit this year go you know, so sometimes it’s the long game and sometimes It’s that we ain’t making it this week. — I saw a meme The other day and I posted it, follow me! It’s said, Um It said people who work who have a boss are always afraid of losing their job people who are entrepreneurs are afraid of getting a job and I was like boy that is nothing but the truth — I think about that every day man as much as I Really It’s nice to have thought and the idea of like oh I don’t have to worry about when you think about being with a label. You still have to worry about certain amount of things Even in our partnerships with VP and whoever we’ve done partnerships with there’s a certain amount of ownership that I will never give up because I know that if I give that up to you you stand a chance of messing that up. So I have to work. There’s no four ways on this. You know what? — You’re so ambitious I mean I think about when I’m hearing you talk about being an owner and I’m thinking about the fact that you ran up or Kanye and you’re like You’re like and you’re not you didn’t run up on Kanye like what’s up? You ran up to Kanye Like “what’s up with John Legend?” Yeah, you know and then you and you know You their intention was to get him on a song, right? And then it’s like you have this label deals like you really really manifested this to make it happen. I tell you I look at everything, my friend wrote this one Christmas. She wrote this She just did very fast, put it in a frame for me. She’s like “your life is so divinely guided is divinely orchestrated” I want to get a tattoo and I have it here deal, right? It also stands for “do something” But we came to that conclusion cuz I was like who lives my life, bro? But you know like she was like “no you don’t understand” There’s so many things that move” but I look at it like it’s a gut instinct It’s like the holy spirit, spirit energy, whatever telling me “hey Do this. This is what you’re here for” and It doesn’t make sense sometimes But I follow it and it always pans out better than I can imagine you know So I look I genuinely look at things from that standpoint, and it’s worked out so well for my career I kind of even when it looks crazy I Still follow it and it still ends up good you know and to me that’s that’s the Bottom line if you believe everything’s working out for you, good nothing you do is going to go wrong, you know Nothing, it may look it for three minutes, and then land and you’re like, how does that come out of that? Yeah, you know so follow your gut follow your instinct if your intentions are all good Nothing is going to go wrong. You know, that’s been mine. Trust me. That’s been my I have to hold on to this this week This week nothing is gonna go wrong my intentions for this were great. My intentions are good. I know it’s I know it, you know But I really look at things like that and I don’t take it for granted that Ye gave me you know the greatest assist There ever could be but that came via John and that came via I’m gonna go and talk to Kanye in this restaurant, you know what I mean? I feel like I understand. I know John is here somewhere right? I’m are you a Libra? I’m a Capricorn — What I was hoping you were one of us, dang it I’m a Capricorn son, Cancer rising and Aquarius Moon oh I don’t know anything about this You’re a libra? Do you know what your signs are? freakin Dang it. I know I have one in Virgo. I think my moon or something is in Virgo and I have a Libra — My friend explain to me how you look at this, right? Okay Next up on astrology, right? Libras can get it done, you guys get it done We like Immigrants, we get the job done Shout out to Lin-Manuel So I have a question you worked on Empire — I did yes — you did What was your initial reaction to the Jussie Smollett? I don’t even know how to say his name Don’t listen to Dave that’s not how you say it Smollett, is that how you say? I Only read things on the internet. I didn’t know how to say the young man’s name Jussie Smollett You know before the arrest and people thinking “oh, well, maybe he’s lied to us
before that was your initial reaction I hit him straightaway like you you all right because I started getting alerts like and everyone was dming me and texting me like “yo, did you see this? and that was just like my first instinct is never to Assume assume or read? What’s going on on Instagram or Twitter? I hit him though, directly, like “yo Check-in you. All right, what’s happening?” You know, I didn’t hear about too much but then I called his brother and his brother was like he’s alright He’s okay. He’s doing well. I was like, okay, so then I just took it from that. Mm-hmm I don’t know the ins and outs right there was too many versions of events out there Um, and I don’t I don’t follow gossip like that, right, you know, so if that’s what you feel that’s cool Till I hear from him directly I’m sitting here with the rest of you like but you know and yeah We could say whatever we could say they say that I literally don’t know right so I’m it’s too much too — Because as of this taping His story is, this really happened — Oh, yeah he has to stick with that story He there’s no way that he can ever come and say that anything else happened But besides what he’s been saying, — There’s one way — The truth? Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to say that! You know, you ever see that movie that Joaquin Phoenix did where he was like pretending he was a rapper for two years and then he was like, “I was just playing y’all.” It’s just like he’s like method acting What were the character names the real characters in the movie? There’s no he played himself. He’s he this is the way he had He had a beard — He grew a beard and he went on Letterman and he’s like “I rap now” Yeah, right He’s like I’m done acting and I rap now and he showed up at underground rap battles and put his name signed his name on and Casey Affleck filmed this whole thing Right, and then there’s a scene in the movie where he’s in the airport I think in London maybe or somewhere in the UK and he runs into Mos Def the Yasiin Bey and he’s like “Yeah
I rap now” and he’s like “you do?” He’s like “can I kick a verse for you?” and the look on Yasiin’s face apparently nobody just besides I think only Casey Affleck knew — that he was messing around? — what did he do, what method is that I’m gonna take that — Jussie is auditioning for role as like a superhero — That could be — and he’s like trying to play it acting he’s doing like oh Maybe he’s doing a really deep like Joaquin Phoenix sort of — Let’s just add to the theories right now — I Will say that I do know him He’s a very good human being and — Everything everything I’ve ever heard about him from people who know him is that he’s a stand-up individual, a good human being which is why I think it makes it so hard because it you know I don’t know him at all Yeah, it does seem like he’s lying to me But I know I’m in this business and I know we’re adjacent We have similar people and ev erybody I speak to is like “nah that kid is a great kid.” Until he comes out — he’s not coming out ya’ll — even if he needs, I don’t know — it’s going to be a tell all when he dies that’s when we’ll find out I’m not asking him to, I w ant him to live a long, great life, but I’m just saying, whatever happened When he’s 75 and he writes a book maybe we’ll find out — There we go. — There you go Um, I want to thank you for doing um Midnight hour with me on that Reflection Eternal Album. Um When I was working with High Tech on that album He was playing me beats. I mean, I’m listening to beat tapes and that came up and it was like a track Yeah, but I had your vocals on. I’m like what’s that? He said don’t listen to that That’s just a song. I’ve been working on with Estelle, that’s like her thing. No, no, no that sounds like our thing and you know mean him argued about a little bit went back and forth because you know That record is like that record feels like all of black music at once And I don’t know if you know we weren’t in agreement on whether or not that that record felt like they would match the sound of Reflection Eternal, but we took a chance on it We did a video that I enjoyed doing Great time shooting everything. — I made really good friends from that video Like I had a friend who is one of my very good friends Now who had seen the video was looking she’s so cute and I shouted me out on Twitter and then me and home girl became really good people and this is like That song like from that video I remember doing it and I liked it because I Wrote it and the intention of how I wrote it is what you did to it You did you came on it perfectly and killed it. — It was a challenge. It was it wasn’t easy for me to write because It’s funny. You say you write you started writing as an emcee. — Yeah — That’s all I’ve ever done what I had to challenge myself to do in that song was write like a Singer-songwriter, I sort of see myself because the way that where I placed my bars I was trying to place what I was doing next to you yeah, I was trying to do a duet, right, you know and I was like, um You you just you were doing an amazing things stylistically I always have confidence in myself as a writer But I looked at what people who can sing and come up with melodies and do certain styles like my style comes from over writing My rap style comes from having too many words, right? Singer-songwriters have to sort of know where to place the word to where not to place And I had to challenge myself to sort of fit in the flow that you established. It wasn’t an easy thing to do — Sounded it you put so many hours into it — For this moment — That when people hear it sounds effortless You did great, I thought it was perfect. I loved it and the video was fun. Orange eyeshadow. I always wanted to wear orange eyeshadow g uys you’ve no idea. It’s great it was good times He gets his faced painted so it’s whatever Hey we don’t call it painting faces I learned this from Hannibal Buress. It’s called wearing player powder. I got to put on my player powder Player Powder? Oh I like that! I wear Player Powder — That’s a good one — With American Boy here thats you free bird just like how Get Buy is my Freebird is like Do you ever get tired of performing this? — No — that’s a great answer — never ever no — that’s a great fucking answer I pray for songs like this. — That’s right I live for them I pray for this I pray for some — How blessed are we that people — We get to do this! Look I in the you talk about the independent period right when there’s times when it’s just like brah Whoa, ain’t no shows this week a and and you’re in between deals and whatnot And I remember this super early on there was three years of nothing. The 18th My very first album came out there was three years of nothing, you know So I literally pray for records like that. Like I pray for at least one on every album If there’s not ten of these Give me one god, one and so every album and some I get two some I get like two and a half right, you know But I pray and I do my best to try and get Records like that cuz I want to do this. I feel like I’m to say American boy is a joyful record I love that song. — Thank you It works in every setting as a DJ I played to this day and people sing it like it’s classic like it’s the first time they heard it and I’m just out here. Like I will never complain. I will never not sing I will never not support and be celebrated and celebrated be happy while it’s playing right That you that’s a good record I’m grateful for every minute of that record. I’m grateful for. Thank you. I’m grateful for conquer I’m grateful for one love. I’m grateful for free. I’m grateful that I can play in any of these arenas with any of these records and people love it and they go back to a point where that I remember where I was I’m grateful That’s crazy. How songs can take you literally to the exact moment you were when you had like your that moment with the song Well, I have one more question, okay The theme song for we bare bears, right? So you you writing, you know in from Estelle’s version, but then you’re also now Working in a different medium and writing from other spaces and other voices like that Where how do you find your artistic voice writing songs like that? On my off days I watch TV I watch shows and I get sucked into a show because The theme song my favorite. Well, my favorite is a Theme song for Shameless. Oh You know what? I mean theme song for Shameless and the theme songs for Frankie and Grace, right? There’s my two current fav orite theme songs — You could be there once before you Anymore — yeah, that feels like, on like a Welcome Back Carter or Chico and The Man like a classic — It feels like something What’s their name? Might have Madness would have done in the 80s? To me is the dopest thing like and you catch Shows for me I catch shows with their theme songs So often even just doing Steven Universe stuff and listening to the simplicity of how Rebecca Sugar who made the show writes her songs she writes the songs on the I dont write these records on Steven Universe I just do them right I do the ones they asked me to do and I learned from all of that I’m like man this so simple and these kids and these young people go crazy how can I learn you know and so I got the shot to do We Bare Bears and I was like Let me take all the things I’ve learned. And he called my friend who was also a hip hop producer I’m Ivan Rice who’s part of part of the group Carbon and Ivan and who produced for like so many different legendary R&B acts and pop acts well, called Ivan I said “hey, hey, I need a beat and I need it to be mad catchy” just give me eight bar of mad catchy,” right and he was like “there” and then gave me that and I was like You know and then just give me like a full bar rise I was just dictating what we needed and then I sat down I was just like, you know Let me just get out my head and then just get out of your hair There’s my head right and and to see what comes through And I came up with three or four but that one felt good and then at that point he was out what that feels good and And I wanted to make it feel like we’ll be around because the Bears are kind of like the neighborhood You know and I think we did good I was nervous they wouldn’t like it that was my first Attempt or first shot at that and I’m just grateful. I think we hit it. You know, — You got it right — Awesome Cuz you know you always remember like your favorite kids shows songs like As Told by Ginger “Someone once told me the grass was much greener” Do you remember like the theme song for Happy Days? Right I think they raised us. — Yeah, — and I’m looking at it like it’s a whole new genre kids and on you whole new, what’s the word Freakin a whole new generation. — Yeah, look at the whole TGIF Friday. — Yeah — we know every single one of them You know the Proud Family theme song, you know the You know, like Tiena, Moesha? Cousin Skeeter! — All of them. — Ya’ll skewing a little young for me Happy Days, I’m down He-Man, Shira — the masters of the universe — exactly! DuckTales — the Jeffersons — That’s classic though I played Jeffersons in the club I’m trying to tell you, those are the shows you remember because of the theme songs. And so like it’s it’s always in the back of my brain. I spend a lot of time of my own as I was Surrounded by kids but just very on my own and — nine children — None of us in the family You know, where do you fall — second oldest oldest girl? Ya’ll seen the TV show Eight is Enough. They were like “no, Eight is not enough” One more, we could do this and she was like “I’m done” But like I spent a lot of time on my own and um, and that’s a TV. Mm-hm. That’s my thing Like, you know, I’ll go into it. — We was raised on that. — Yeah, I ladies and gentlemen Give it up for Estelle, darling Thank you, that was great

24 thoughts on “Talib Kweli And Estelle Talk Female Emcees, Kanye, And UK Hip-Hop (Full Episode) | People’s Party

  1. Awesome convo! It's too many undressed female rapper in the limelight and not enough substance to go around. I love Estelle's music.

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  3. Anyone out there reading this comment, please take the time and search for the word "Dajjal". This will give you a true understanding of who's running the entertainment industry, specially the music industry. Hence the "One Eye" symbol ✌🏽.

  4. I see she missed the whole point he talkin about what's on the radio was being played he ain't talkin about underground hip-hop he talkin about mainstream

  5. Estelle has lived in states for a while but who’s she falling I know she hasn’t lost her London I don’t why she’s talking like that lol
    Edit as the interview goes on she regains her Londoner accent 😂😂

  6. I'm a real Estelle fan! To me she is what Lauryn Hill could've been with a full catalog of music. A1 MC & songstress


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