I love a good jazz/hip-hop collab!
Trumpeter Maurice Brown brings in a smooth vibe as well as some solid bars from Talib Kweli as they persuade the listener to Stand Up for something before they fall for anything.
The jazz production on this track could easily stand on its own. There is something about a muted horn that classes up just about everything, but the sound of this just feels like a cool, summer breeze as it washes over you. There is so much emphasis on things being or getting a listener hype that we miss things like this; solid groove that put you in a good place from the moment they begin to play.
The lyrics in this are great and have a great message. There is a lot about not standing for the false prophets that sell wisdom that is lacking, about standing up for your community, and standing up for yourself and your beliefs when you are confronted with people who want you to sell your soul. They also show how you can add a little brag on yourself without making it completely disjointed from the song as Kweli brings in a some solid lines about himself being a hope in an industry that has lost its way. His flow is confident but not overtly powerful (even though there is a lot of power in his tone), which makes it flow with the production and really makes you listen close and find the meaning.
A good listen that won’t leave you feeling empty when it’s all over. You can’t ask for more than that.