Prisoner of Conscious
The much-loved Brooklyn emcee Talib Kweli rose to prominence during the indie-rap boom of the late '90s, releasing classic albums like Black Star with Mos Def and Train of Thought with DJ Hi-Tek. Since then, he's put out reliably dope solo records, including Quality, The Beautiful Struggle, Eardrum, and Gutter Rainbows. Though he never cracked superstar status, he has a fiercely loyal global fanbase and is an undisputed master lyricist; Jay-Z famously shouted him out on "Moment of Clarity" back in 2003. Prisoner of Conscious is arguably his best work in years, loaded with unimpeachable storytelling and diverse production from RZA, Oh No, J. Cole, and Boi-1Da, among others. "Come Thru," "Hamster Wheel," "Favela Love," and "Before He Walked" (featuring Nelly!) are highlights. Another strong effort from one of hip-hop's most consistent voices.