I have known Talib Kweli since 1995. He is one of my closest friends and one of the few men I have ever trusted in the entertainment industry. In 2014 he heard the record I was working on, while i was visiting him in Brooklyn. In a short time after that, he asked me if I wanted his label to put out my first recording project. Before that we had only interacted as friends, and artist family.
In 2015 I became a Javotti Media signed artist. I traveled with Talib and his band (all men) all over the country. I have shared many spaces with him – his home, the studio, the road, hotels, stages. He is one of the most respectful, giving, authentic human beings I have ever encountered in my life. He supports women’s voices and was raised by an incredible mother, Dr. Brenda Greene, whom he adores. He is a loving father.
I have worked with Res in the past, only when booking her as a headliner for Black WOMEN Rock! I have seen her and Talib in the studio and on the road with their band. I was never a witness to any inappropriate behavior. I don’t know anything about their business, their money issues, or contracts, but i do know that Talib is not someone who sexually harasses women.
As an artist, producer and mother, I stand in solidarity with women who have been victims of sexual violence in many forms. We have to be careful to not allow any of us to take advantage of disagreements among our male counterparts, and use this important movement for truth and safety for our own personal gain or to simply to destroy someone’s career with unfounded allegations.
Talib is one of the best men I have ever known. We speak so much about men in Hip Hop who work to destroy and silence women’s voices, so I am constantly reminding people of the one Hip Hop artist who gave me voice when others would not. Who invested in my work, when other labels did not know how to market poetry and music. He continues to be an incredible support system for my work as an artist. As an activist, I was with him and Rosa Clemente on the ground in Ferguson. He stood his ground with us, and made sure we were safe that entire trip.
I cannot take this onslaught of negative media to someone who I know loves women, takes care of so many independent artists, and is an incredible light in this industry.
I was not asked to write a statement, but I felt compelled to say something.
In solidarity with Talib
Internationally renowned Poet, Javotti Media Artist and founder of Black WOMEN Rock!