Talib Kweli has announced a new album, Cultural Currency, which will be made available exclusively to fans who subscribe to his new Patreon campaign.
The New York rapper did not share any specifics about the record, such as a release date. His Patreon, however, will feature a three-tiered subscription service with various incentives for fans. For instance, the $5-a-month tier will come with a monthly unreleased track by various hip-hop legends, curated by Kweli; the $10-a-month tier will include that track, plus a new Kweli song, with the rapper planning to drop a new one every month for the next year. A $25-a-month subscription includes the previous two incentives, plus a signed vinyl copy of Kweli’s 2011 LP Gutter Rainbows and access to a monthly Q&A livestream with the rapper.
“On paper, I was not supposed to be a successful artist,” Kweli said. “When the music industry told me no, I built an industry around myself. Working with Patreon is the next step in this evolution.”
Since 2011, Kweli has been releasing records on his own Javotti Records. Cultural Currency will be Kweli’s first-full length release since 2017’s Radio Silence, though the rapper has been using the album’s title in conversation for several years. “If I had to live or die based on radio play, I’d have to get a day job by now,” he said in a 2018 interview. “I survive on cultural currency.”
Last week, Kweli shared in a since-deleted Instagram post that the release of his long-awaited Black Star follow-up album with Yassin Bey (Mos Def) had been halted due to unnamed “interlopers and culture vultures,” despite having finished the album over a year ago.