http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/745fcac0a8a2ae8b0a09dd8cac59a984054ba928.jpg Gutter Rainbows

Talib Kweli

Gutter Rainbows

Javotti Media/3D
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
February 3, 2011

On 2007's Eardrum, alt-rap hero Talib Kweli teamed with big-name producers (will.i.am) and fancy guest stars (Justin Timberlake), hiking his backpack all the way up to Number Two on the album charts. But Kweli's flirtation with the mainstream is over. Gutter Rainbows is unabashed conscious-rap classicism, with a luscious, string-swamped soul sound and rhymes that tout the MC's left-of-center cred. ("This ain't fashion-rap/I'm bringing the passion back.") Kweli's rhyming is skillful but can be dull; he's at his best when he tells stories: the U.S. Army veteran's travails in "Tater Tot," and the life-on-the-road narrative "Mr. International," in which Kweli, like the good conscious MC that he is, boasts not about riches or rims, but his PDA. "Don't be mad," he raps, "'cause I'm writing this rhyme on my iPad."

Listen to "Mr. International":

Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “You Oughta Know”

    Alanis Morissette | 1995

    This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

    More Song Stories entries »