Talib Kweli joined the protesters at the Occupy Wall Street rally in lower Manhattan on October 6, speaking with the crowd and reciting a couple of verses, including a new joint, “Distractions,” and “Thieves in the Night.”
The Occupy Wall Street protests have been making noise for weeks, as thousands of participants have descended on New York City’s Zuccotti Park, renamed “Liberty Square” by the protesters, in a stand against many issues, including corporate greed and overall disenfranchisement. The “99%,” as they call themselves, though originally brushed off as an unorganized, leaderless bunch, have begun to capture the attention of the nation with their largely peaceful full-time assembly now entering its third week.
Other hip hop personalities have appeared in solidarity with the protestors, including mogul Russell Simmons and Lupe Fiasco, and Brooklynite Talib Kweli was on hand to address part of the crowd.
“This rhyme is off my new project,” he explained before beginning, “Something called ‘Distractions.’ Hopefully y’all hear it, and understand what I’m saying.” Kweli then spit an acapella that gained hefty crowd approval, speaking on world issues, remarking on how the public gets too easily distracted from important matters.
After the new joint, the crowd wanted Talib Kweli to freestyle, but he opted instead to ask the crowd to choose one of his songs, settling on “Thieves in the Night,” which he recited alongside an inpromptu drumming session by nearby musicians. After that, Kweli spoke on his feelings of support for the movement, in an unplanned but potent call-and-response with the crowd.
Check the video of Talib Kweli at the Occupy Wall Street protests below.