Reflection Eternal
Train of Thought


5.0
classic

Review

by snoopdogg6969 USER (11 Reviews)
September 6th, 2012 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Talib Kweli's best and most overlooked album.

The duo of emcee Talib Kweli and producer Hi-Tek met in 1997 Tek's native Cincinnati, Ohio.That same year, the two signed to the underground hip hop label Rawkus Records. In 1998, Kweli and his high school friend, fellow Rawkus Records artist Mos Def, formed Black Star, and released their first, and only album, Black Star. Hi-Tek provided production for singles "Definition" and "Respiration" as well as song "Re:Definition" "Twice Inna Lifetime" and "(K.O.S) Determination". Kweli and Hi-Tek reconnected in 2000 for the release of their debut album, Train of Thought. The album is highly acclaimed,but didn't receive a significant amount of commercial attention, despite the success of the rap hits "Move Somethin'" and "The Blast".

Fans of the Blackstar album were blown away by Talib Kweli and Mos Def's subject matter that focused on positive issues like love, knowledge, determination and pride into a witty CD that is musically enjoyable from beginning to end. The Train of Thought album continues with some of the most clever lyrics in rap combined with a cohesion of beats, rhymes and overall production that is on par with Blackstar, an album which is considered by many as the best album of all time.

In Train of Thought Hi-Tek's beats have a new age jazz feel to them that are still unique anything being created today and much more complex and enjoyable than those in the Blackstar album. The beats sync with Talib Kweli's style the way that DJ Premeir's beats did for Guru (R.I.P). Mos Def comes in for the track "This Means You", a back and forth track that sounds a lot like Definition from the Blackstar album, however this is one of the simpler beats by Hi-Tek in Train of Thought. The impressive part of this song is the clarity in which Talib Kweli and Mos Def deliver lyrics over such a fast paced beat, and of course this is done with their own trademark styles that effortlessly seem to come together.

At track 6 Too Late, the entire album takes an entirely different feel. While the first 5 tracks (4 without intro) sounded very similiar to the previous Blackstar album and typical of late 90s hip hop in general, after this point is when this album goes to new heights never seen in hip hop hitherto. Immediately the listener notices a drastic change in the sound of the beats. Such as in the song "Too Late" which uses an African drumming rhythm, an incoherent singing girl and flute to produce a song that sounds like it came on the Slave Boats out of Africa.

The next song, Memories Live is one of the few songs that is deserving of it's title. The lackadaisical beat and slowly delivered poetry filled with nostalgic lyrics will literally bring your sweet memories back to life. Impressive beat and one of the best synchronizations of lyrics with a rhythmic voice-sample ever done. Definitely one of the most impressive tracks on the album, perhaps of Talib Kweli's career.

Very gripping and dramatic lyrics throughout the entire album yet the album still has an uplifting vibe to it. It alternates between a familiar late-90's-rap sound as seen before in the Blackstar album and a much more unique sound that clearly has its roots stretching from African drum music. A very personal, poetic and brilliantly put together album. An overlooked classic.

Best Tracks in Order:
Memories Live, Down for the Count, The Blast, Love Language, Too Late, Good Mourning, African Dream, Name of the Game.



Album information
Train of Thought
Released: October 17, 2000
Billboard 200 chart position: #17
R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #5
Singles: "Some Kind of Wonderful", "Move Somethin'"/"Good Mourning", "The Blast"/"Down For The Count"



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user ratings (77)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tupik
September 6th 2012


673 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I always wanted to review this, but I'm glad it has one now.

One of my favorite rap albums ever, one of the first I really got massively into, I must've listened to it a million times. I disagree about this being better than Black Star though, but Black Star is probably one of my top 5 albums ever so...

It deserves far more than 46 ratings, anybody who likes rap should listen to this, it's a stunning album from beginning to end.

snoopdogg6969
September 8th 2012


419 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah good point I dunno about it being better than blackstar so i changed that part of the review but some songs on here i like better than anything on black star, is what i meant

Tupik
September 11th 2012


673 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That is certainly true. I don't think this is necessarily better than Black Star, it's just a matter
of personal taste for me. Black Star is just the album that definitely pushed me to start reeeaally
listening to hip-hop instead of just listening to an artist here and there so it's got that particular
flavor to me.

AlienWarrior75
September 14th 2012


134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album is awesome

snoopdogg6969
October 6th 2012


419 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah this badly needs more ratings/listens...

MunsuLight
May 11th 2013


567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have received the CD recently from one of my friend who said this is top notch hip-hop.. I'm not disappointed.. People should really get this like I will do

Havey
May 11th 2013


9758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

rules

DrHouseSchuldiner
May 11th 2013


5643 Comments


Gotta check !

MunsuLight
May 11th 2013


567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Probably... Hillary, Your attitude is bad but you do like some amazing hip-hop from time to time.. But
your dissing of "mainstream"(beside the Game) or "sellout" rappers is just bad..

MunsuLight
May 11th 2013


567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Memories live is the best on this for me.. After that, the 2nd ranked is pretty hard to say but I
think it's between Down for the Count, Name of the Game, Too Late but probably more Name of The Game..


No.. i didn't read it, but in general, you like Game beside Jesus Piece

Edit : KRs-one is too "raw" for a lot of people here.. For me, the stuff from BPD to I Got Next are
excellent... After that, he did lose his shit for me...Is he the greatest MC-ever? For me,no but he
surely is in my top 25...

DrHouseSchuldiner
May 11th 2013


5643 Comments


KRS-One rules ,i told you that b4 hilary in a lil-b thread i think
Return of the Boom Bap and KRS One are both awesome albums

MunsuLight
May 12th 2013


567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm not sure I want to... I was pretty disappointed with early 2000's and if he is far from the quality of the first 3 releases, I don't even want to look.. But will look

Havey
May 12th 2013


9758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Meta-Historical and Adventures in Emceein are both great, just stay away from "Hip Hop Lives"

MunsuLight
May 12th 2013


567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

2 people saying Meta-hisorical is good is fine for me.. Will really look.. Another listen of this today and wow...Talib never stops to amaze me with his lyrics, flow and rhymes

PunchforPunch
October 10th 2013


6280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea

LambsBread
October 13th 2013


3753 Comments


Like the first time I saw KRS live rockin it




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