Fresh off surprise-releasing a new album and landing on Barack Obama’s presidential playlist, Talib Kweli wrapped up a hectic Friday by appearing on Real Time With Bill Maher to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and his new LP Fuck the Money.
Maher first asked why Black Lives Matter protestors would hijack Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign stop in Seattle, even though the NAACP offered their support of the candidate. “The NAACP liked Donald Sterling too,” the rapper quipped before explaining, “Bernie Sanders is somebody who, just because someone has a record of civil rights doesn’t mean they are automatically entitled to the black vote.”
The rapper then added that, while Sanders might seem like an unlikely target, his accessibility offered the movement a widespread platform in which to be heard. “He might be the easiest because he’s somebody who’s dealing with the people more directly than a Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton. He might be the easiest to get to,” Kweli said.
“Me personally, I’m friends with some of the people who started Black Lives Matter. My sensibilities, when I first saw what happened to Bernie in Seattle, I was like ‘Well, that’s not right,’ but I was corrected,” Kweli tells Maher. “The job of activism is not to be liked or not to be polite; black women vote more than anybody in this country, and you have young black women who started Black Lives Matter, and they are forcing this discussion.”
During the Overtime segment of Real Time, Kweli was also asked why he released his new album Fuck the Money for free earlier in the day. “People don’t buy music, they’d rather stream and pay money to streaming companies” Kweli said. “It’s convenient. As horrible as it is, it’s my responsibility to do something about it, it’s not on the consumer to do something about the new business model… I don’t think it’s fair, but that’s how it is.” The rapper said the free album was also a “thank you” to fans who frequent his KweliClub.com.