Johnny Nunez, WireImage
At least that's the sentiment felt by blogger Mychal Smith, who posted a missive on his blog, TheLoop21. Smith criticized Kweli for recording a song with Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane.
"Talib Kweli does a song with Gucci Mane and I'm forced to reevaluate everything I believe," Smith wrote. "Now Kweli is throwing dirt on top of the grave. He wants to serve everyone, it seems, releasing songs to dispute the Arizona immigration law along with the aforementioned Gucci Mane collaboration. I understand not wanting to be singularly defined, but when you try to be everything to everyone you end up being nothing to no one."
Kweli took issue with this attack, and responded in kind. "I guess my decision to record with Gucci Mane bothered him enough to blog about it, declaring my move a part of the demise of the conscious rapper," Kweli wrote on YearoftheBlacksmith.com. "I offer a different take. I say people like Mychal Smith are every bit as caught up in the flashing lights as the 'ignorant' masses they like to judge. Instead of celebrating it, they get joy from speaking against it.""They truly believe not liking Gucci Mane makes them intellectually superior to say, some chic down south. They pay so much attention to what they perceive to be negative, based on a limited world view, that they miss the positive, even when it's right in their face... Somehow, doing a song with Gucci Mane erases all of this in some people's minds. Who are they to judge me? What do they do in their lives that is conscious? If you ain't doing more than me; you just blogging, fall back."
The two eventually hashed out their disagreement via Twitter (what else), but the question remains- does Kweli have a responsibility to the conscious movement he spearheaded? Does recording with Gucci Mane send the wrong message?