Talib Kweli isn’t here for writers who don’t do their homework. The Brooklyn MC/activist took to his Tumblr earlier today (November 12) to critique a Pitchfork review of he and 9th Wonder’s recently released compilation album Indie 500.
In his review of the review, Kweli starts by talking about critic Mosi Reeves’ calling him a “celebrity straw man” because of his appearances with Anthony Bourdain, Bill Maher, and his infamous Ferguson interview with CNN’s Don Lemon. “As if to suggest I do these things strictly for celebrity currency and not on my own terms,” Kweli says. “What this reviewer fails to mention is that Bourdain had me on the last episode of No Reservations because it was set in Brooklyn, and I rep the borough well. I was invited to Bill Maher show not because I don’t speak up against injustice, but precisely because I do. I didn’t call Don Lemon out about CNN’s Ferguson coverage from CNN’s New York headquarters, I did it live from Ferguson Missouri. At night before the cameras showed up I got chased by police carrying tear gas, I was face down with a rifle in my back, not in some truck safe with Don Lemon somewhere.”
From here, it becomes a piece-by-piece deconstruction of Reeves’ review, from mixing up MK Asante with 9th Wonder on the opening monologue to thinking 9th Wonder produced a song actually produced by Khrysis: “If the reviewer can’t even be bothered to find out who did what beats, again, how can this review be taken seriously? Isn’t Pitchfork.com supposed to be the gold standard when it comes to reviews? But this misinformation is acceptable?”
Talib does step back and acknowledge Reeves as “experienced and widely regarded as a competent journalist,” but directly calls out the “rushed” nature of blog reviews: “I cannot be mad at anyone’s opinion of my work. But when that opinion is informed by incorrect information, I become suspicious of it. I also think that if you are going to write a review for a platform as respected as Pitchfork.com, you should try your best to not have factual errors in your review, especially the type of errors that can taint your judgment.” Check out the full review here.