What’s more important, lyrics or tracks? If you like lyrics, Talib Kweli always delivers. His new cut Palookas is no exception. Check it out.

Click here to download (without tags).

Here’s a nice little cut from Talib Kweli called Cold Rain. The track is courtesy of Ski Beatz.

Click here to download.  It’s great to see the mighty Ski Beatz still in the game.  Check the resume.

Kanye’s album leaked but he can’t be stopped. Check out Chain Heavy, the newest G.O.O.D. “Friday” gift ft Talib Kweli and Consequence.

Click here to download.

Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y are like the 2010 West Coast gangsta version of Mos Def and Talib Kweli (aka Blackstar). Check out Huey Newton which features a Toto sample…now THAT’s gangsta.

Blackstar?! Blasphemy?!  Hear me out.  In 1999, very few people knew who Mos Def and Talib Kweli were.  They were both signed to Rawkus and somebody had the idea to put them together for an album to raise awareness ahead of their solo albums.  One hip-hop classic later, hip-hop heads are still talking about that album 10 years later.  It was an instant classic.  Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa have not made an album together (though they did make a mixtape), but they have made several dope songs together that, years from now, will go down as classics.  Feel me now?  Check out Huey Newton:

Click here to download.

Here are some other Curren$y and Wiz gems:

Here’s some Blackstar:

Oh.  And the Toto sample?

If you’re an old R&B head, Spread My Wings by Mitchy Slick ft Talib Kweli will crack your cranium. They rhyme over the Troop classic of the same name.

Click here to listen and download.

Here’s the Troop joint (never thought I would post this):

Talib Kweli and Consequence rock the same Marvin Gaye track Jay-Z did on American Dreamin’ with their song 1st Time. Check it out.

This is cool…

Click here to download.

…but Jay KILLED it on American Dreamin’. Click here if you missed him breaking down the lyrics of the song in his new book Decoded.

And, here’s the original Marvin Gaye joint, Soon I’ll Be Loving You Again:

Here are the 20 most important hip-hop record labels of all time.

Before record labels were considered “the enemy” their brands actually meant something.  Artists dreamed of being on the same label as the MCs they grew up idolizing and some labels had such credibility fans would buy the record just because it was on that label.

Over the next several days we will look at the 20 most important hip-hop record labels of all time as determined by a host of factors including credibility, sales, enduring legacy and cultural impact.  And, the labels are:

#20 Rawkus Records

In the late nineties and early 2000s, many thought Rawkus Records was going to be the next Def Jam.  They were putting out singles, compilations and albums of some of the most well-regarded underground hip-hop of the last several years.  They also launched the careers of some artists who still today (10 years later) are seen as among the most credible in hip-hop.  They even put out one of the earliest Eminem singles…Here are some of the key releases by Rawkus in its heyday:

Definition – Blackstar

Before they were widely known as Mos Def & Talib Kweli, they were known as Blackstar

Umi Says – Mos Def

Get By – Talib Kweli

Simon Says – Pharoahe Monch

Any Man – Eminem

Oh No – Mos Def ft. Nate Dogg and Pharoahe Monch

1-9-9-9 – Common ft. Sadat X

Previously:  #20 Rakwus Records, #19 Loud Records, #18 Select Records, #17 Rap-A-Lot Records, #16 No Limit Records, #15 Sleeping Bag Records, #14 Uptown Records, #13 Ruffhouse Records, #12 Cold Chillin’ Records, #11 Jive Records, #10 Aftermath Records, #9 Cash Money Records