Event Archives

Artist-In-Residence: Talib Kweli



GRAMMY-winning producer, DJ, and Duke professor 9th Wonder leads this discussion with groundbreaking Brooklyn-based hip-hop artist Talib Kweli, which will explore Kweli’s career and wide-ranging artistic collaborations.

Kweli will perform a two-night stand on February 16 & 17 at Motorco in downtown Durham, accompanied by opening act Actual Proof. Info available HERE.

Wednesday, February 15, 12 – 1:15 PM
Forum for Scholars & Publics
011 Old Chem, Duke University West Campus (Directions & Parking)
Free & open to the public.



Mark Anthony Neal, Professor of African & African American Studies at Duke University, speaks with groundbreaking Brooklyn-based hip-hop artist Talib Kweli about the role of hip-hop as a form of protest, activism, and beauty in the age of Trump, Bannon, and DeVos.

Kweli will perform a two-night stand on February 16 & 17 at Motorco in downtown Durham, accompanied by opening act Actual Proof. Info available HERE.

Friday, February 17, 3 – 4:15 PM
Beyù Caffè, 341 West Main Street, Durham (Directions)
Free & open to the public.


Groundbreaking Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli first made his name as half of Black Star, alongside Mos Def. Their acclaimed 1998 album mixed “rugged street beats and rhymes brainy enough for boho B-boys” (Entertainment Weekly), rejecting the violence and nihilism of gangsta rap in favor of a message of empowerment. Kweli has since put out more than a dozen albums, each radiating an “emotional immediacy and political awareness that was largely absent from hip-hop” (Pitchfork) before he came on the scene. Twenty years into his career and still pushing boundaries, Talib Kweli collaborated with Durham’s own multi-GRAMMY-winning producer 9th Wonder on the 2015 album Indie 500.

Capping off a weeklong residency at Duke, Kweli presents this two-night stand at Motorco, offering a rare opportunity to hear one of hip-hop’s most original and accomplished voices in the up-close-and-personal club setting. It’s the perfect venue to show off his combination of social consciousness and pure lyrical virtuosity.

With opening act Actual Proof, a Raleigh-based duo signed to GRAMMY Award-winning producer 9th Wonder’s Jamla label.

Talking Music: Talib Kweli & 9th Wonder is a part of Talking Music: Conversations with Scholars, Writers, Archivists, and Artists, co-sponsored by Duke Performances and the Forum for Scholars & Publics.

“Beautiful Struggle”: Hip-Hop’s Role in the Trump Era is co-sponsored by Beyù Caffè, Left of Black: A Black Studies for a Mobile Digital Network, and Center for Arts, Digital Culture & Entrepreneurship (CADCE).

Presented as part of Duke Performances’ Hip-Hop Initiative, made possible, in part, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

  • Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 3:00pm