I'm currently listening to Talib Kweli's Gutter Rainbows. I seldom listen to Kweli, but even I know that he is a highly regarded lyricist and intellectual rapper.
Not only is his new album lyrically sound, the music is oh so right. Strings and horns are used in several of the tracks, giving the album an epic, rich quality. Instead of feeling static, each song seems to grow without becoming tangled.
Some themes of this album are loyalty (to "Friends & Family," musical integrity, self,etc.), spirituality, and rising up. As in most, if not all Hip-Hop albums, Kweli asserts that he is the best. I especially like, "They gave somebody else the crown, but i'm still the king without it," from "Palookas."
Seven of the fourteen tracks feature other rappers or singers. Some featured artists/entertainers include Ed Lover, Nigel Hall, and Outasight.
I can respect this album. It is cohesive in that all the songs are in the same sound world, and there is focus on a specific genre. Cheers to Kweli for "Gutter Rainbows," "How You Love Me" ft. Blaq Toven, and "Wait For You" ft. Kendra Ross.