By Kara Olson
Anyone who is a fan of hip-hop knows that the Rock the Bells Festival is THE show to see ~ and I got to do just that on July 18 at the Comcast Center, up close and personal. And not only did I get to see the incredible show, but I also got to interview several of its stars, among them Reflection Eternal. The guys were so friendly and I was in my glory! So here, after a little background, is a glimpse of what the two halves of RE shared with me backstage .
The rock and roll text books are full of great duos from the past, visionaries of their time who completely changed they way people make music. Lennon and McCartney. Jagger and Richards. Simon and Garfunkel. But what about today? When it seems like there is a new collaboration between artists every other day, it is easy to look past truly great pairings, ones that inspire the others to do more, to make their work better ~ pairings that, although perhaps not as flashy as some, seem to be put together by a divine inspiration, and, like their musical forefathers, completely change the way people make music.
Undoubtedly, one of our generation’s greatest duos is Reflection Eternal. Comprised of Brooklyn born MC Talib Kweli and Cincinatti’s own DJ Hi-Tek, Reflection Eternal doesn’t just make songs, they make statements.
“It’s undeniable. Even if we tried to fight our chemistry, I don’t think we could,”,says Kweli.
Reflection Eternal made their debut in 2000 with the album Train of Thought to, no surprise, great critical and commercial success. Respectively recognized as one of the greatest lyricists today (Kweli) and one of the most innovative producers (Hi-Tek), there was no question that the sounds they would make together would be something supernatural.
After a 9 year hiatus to work on solo projects, the team has come back together and made their long awaited follow-up album Revolutions Per Minute, sure to match if not exceed the reviews of their previous work. “Revolutions Per Minute came from the idea that whenever a record goes around, with the many revolutions, there are so many ideas that come with it.” says Kweli.
Touring with a long list of hip hop geniuses on the Rock the Bells Tour, playfully described by tourmates as a “hip hop summer camp,” Reflection Eternal has already begun to give their fans a taste of what they’ve been missing. When asked if they’re planning their own headlining tour, both responded with a mysterious, “You never know.”
Reflection Eternal’s new album is set to drop in the fall, and promises not to disappoint.