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Talib Kweli feat. Curren$y and Kendrick Lamar “Push Through” Video

August 9, 2012

I’ve always been a fan of rap songs about perseverance. Yup. Love um all. Talib’s newest “Push Through” is particularly good. Best in a while. Since every song on the Roots’ undun.

I didn’t always think that. The first time I heard it, I thought the song was kind of random and forgettable. Seeing the video and hearing it again gave it new life for me.

The song joins Curren$y, Talib Kweli, and Kendrick—three rappers with distinct styles, from very different backgrounds, very different careers—seamlessly. Their verses deal with different subject matters:

Curren$y talks about the struggles of coming up and keeping his career fresh.

Talib waxes on the awful new trends in rap, making a handful of his classic calls for revolution and consciousness.

Kendrick raps about overcoming poverty and destitution in a city that’s dragging.

The common feeling that their stories express pervades through the differences. I’m gonna push throuuugh…The chorus is beautiful. I sing along with it every time it comes around. It refocuses the song thematically, melodically.

The verses flow over slideshow shots of the rappers’ hometowns—Nawlins, BK, and Compton. The urbanscapes meld into one another. The geography becomes seamless. It’s a cool effect, and it makes a profound statement. Solidarity! The music and message unites the three rappers, their peoples, their cities, all their listeners of various backgrounds. Universality! This is exactly what good hip hop should do—what good music should do: It should unite. It should create harmony. Music should motivate. It should make a statement. Talib Kweli’s “Push Through” does all that. It’s a strong single.

Hopefully will be a strong album. Late-career rap albums can still hit. Nas proved it. Raekwon’s done it. I say it’s got a 50/50 shot.

Prisoner of Consciousness in October.

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