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5.0 out of 5 stars Twin Spirits In Music Come Together.
For those who aren't very familiar with Talib Kweli, let me tell you... he is without a shadow of a doubt, a savior of hip-hop. He brings new meaning to the art-form, ressurecting the meaning, morals, and ultimately skill that originally backed the hip-hop movement. Talib Kweli has been my favorite emcee for... well, since I really became interested in hip-hop, which...
Published on July 6 2004 by P. T. J.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Well... I don't wanna hate, but...
Did I not receive the same CD as everyone else? This is the talk of the town CD in Hiphop right now, but I'm just not feelin' it. The beats are bland and many are not that good, plus Kweli is too frantic to get his message across, so he crams too many words into one line that doesn't match the beat. It sounds very off and I only end up listening to the first half of each...
Published on March 17 2004


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5.0 out of 5 stars Twin Spirits In Music Come Together., July 6 2004
By 
This review is from: Reflection Eternal (Audio CD)
For those who aren't very familiar with Talib Kweli, let me tell you... he is without a shadow of a doubt, a savior of hip-hop. He brings new meaning to the art-form, ressurecting the meaning, morals, and ultimately skill that originally backed the hip-hop movement. Talib Kweli has been my favorite emcee for... well, since I really became interested in hip-hop, which has been a while. His solo album, "Quality" shows that Talib can truly do anything he wants to and his debut "Black Star" is probably the most thoughtful hip-hop album ever recorded. Those two CD's I just mentioned, I must confess, are my favorites, though don't get me wrong, "Reflection Eternal" doesn't trail too far behind.
As always, Talib's lyrical talent blows me away. His thought provoking and emotional force behind his generally laid back flow comes together to create an awe-inspiring record. Backed with Hi Tek's similarly laid back beats, again re-inforced with a solid beat that you wouldn't expect to accompany such a dreamy melody. I guess what makes this album really great, is that Hi Tek and Talib are really as close as you can get to alter-ego's (musically). Both boast a laid back flow that is the heart and core of their musical style, but catching you off guard, they'll both pull out amazingly strong and powerful lyrics or beats that create a very unique musical current.
Talib is one of those emcees that can pull off rhymes that would sound terrible from any other rapper, but from him, they simply sound natural, flowing smoothly with the beat and making perfect transitions from chorus to verse, etc. Talib just has so much to SAY in his rhymes, that he gets his full worth out of every bar, every line, every verse, and after just listening to one song, you're left dazed, captured by a thoughtful reverie that FORCES you to contemplate your own existence and the troubles of others. Some even leave you guilty. Talib's conscience lyrics strike your core and make you examine yourself. "Is that me?" you'll ask, after a particularly thoughtful tyrade on the evils of today. This CD is very focused on music, not just lyrics though, and there are multiple "songs" or "interludes" (whatever you'd like to call them) that showcase Hi Tek's clever production, generally accompanied with a jazzy melody or balad.
"Reflection Eternal" isn't perfect, however, and there are a few songs on this CD that I know some people appreciate, but I just can't get into. One such song would have to be "Soul Rebels", a song with a very shaky chorus that goes "/We do not/ live for hip hop/ Hip hop/ It lives for us" Repeat. Accompanied by a strangely 'Santana' guitar-ish sounding beat, this song fails to live up to it's big brother and sister songs, so to speak. The ones that are so good, you can't stop hitting the 'repeat' button when it's done.
This is one of those albums where the best songs are easy to pick out, NOT because the rest of the songs don't live up, but because within the first 30 seconds, you find yourself with eyes closed, letting the music flow through your heart, your soul, your muscles, your mind; every fiber in your body, your head slowly nodding along with the dreamy beat as you absorb every word that comes out of Talib's lips. The thing is, there are quite a few of these songs, but I'll list them all for you, just so you get an idea of how good this record really is.
The best songs on the album go as follows... "The Blast" feat. Vinia Mojica, "Too Late" feat. Res, "Memories Live", "Love Language" feat. Les Nubians, "Eternalists", "Touch You" feat. Piakhan and Aupa Dav West, and last but not least, "Good Mourning". These are all songs that boast very thoughtful lyrics and strong production. They are not, however, the only good tracks on the CD. I left one out, since it doesn't really fall into the 'thoughtful' category. It's track 9, titled "Down for the Count" feat. Rah Digga and Xzibit. This song is a masterful showcase of the best battle-rap you'll ever find. Every single Talib Kweli makes, he balances his 'conscience rapper' flow with one or more strong battle-rap tracks. As usual this one blows you out of the water, and it's not just mindless hip-hop either, it's aggressive rap with a message behind it. Any person can be pushed to far. All too true, and well said, since this song brings with it some of the most incredible word-play you'll ever hear. I mean, come on, Xzibit AND Kweli, you KNOW that's a lethal pair.
So, all in all, I'd give this album 4 1/2 stars, JUST because there are a few unlistenable tracks on the CD that jar you out of that heavy reverie Talib and Hi Tek's flow puts you in. Here's a quick summary for you...
PRO'S
*A CD with both incredibly thoughtful messages behind it, and potent lyrical talent. Talib just has so much to say... and he says it all.
*To balance the record out, Talib also brings the best of his battle-rap to the table, showing that his lyrical imagination extends beyond his 'conscience rapper' image.
*A slow and dreamy flow on both Talib and Hi Tek's part, yet at the same time, both seem to be able to pull of an amazingly potent performance, pulling tricks out of their sleeves you never saw coming.
CON'S
*A few unlistenable tracks that jar you out of the flow of the CD, if you decide to play it all the way through.
Obviously, the pro's far outway the con's, so I have to give this CD the 5 star rating it deserves. Although this may not be Talib's greatest performance, when compared to "Black Star", "Quality", and his mixtape "The Beautiful Mixtape", it only pales by a fraction, barely noticeable. "Reflection Eternal" is a timeless album, bringing with it everything and more that you'd expect from an emcee the caliber of Talib, and a producer with the reputation of Hi Tek. Every dollar you pay for this CD is worth it, so my recommendation? Buy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some Kind Of Wonderful (5 Stars), June 24 2004
First off, let's be clear on one thing: I'm not the type to give an album 5 stars unless I think it's a classic. In my mind, the Reflection Eternal LP is a timeless work of art. There really isn't anything bad that can be said about the album. I still have this album in heavy rotation four years after it came out. You can put the CD in and just let it play without skipping any songs. Talib Kweli provides the perfect compliment to Hi Tek's flawless production. Most people would only remeber this album because of the hit single "The Blast", but this album contains many more beautiful tracks that make this, in my mind, one of the best hip hop releases of all time. If you're reading this and thinking about buying this album, go ahead and buy it. You'll love the smooth beats and the tight lyrics. Even guest appearances from the likes of Rah Digga, Res, Piakhan, De La Soul, Kool G Rap, Mos Def, Xzibit, Supa Dave West, Vinia Mojica, and Les Nubian were all flawless contributions. The smooth tracks are as smooth as smooth can get while the hardcore b-boy tracks are top notch as well. On this album Kweli officially steps out of the Black Star shadow with a flow that is approaching the stuff of legend in my opinion and it makes this album that much sweeter to listen to. Whether you're trying to bolster your music library or you're just tired of repetitive pop rap, this album should be included in the collection of any rap fan. This is a great album. If you haven't heard it yet, you're missing out on something special. 5 stars for this Kweli and Hi Tek masterpiece.
Standout Tracks: Down For The Count, Memories Live, Ghetto Afterlife, The Blast, Touch You (My Favorite), Good Morning, & Love Language
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3.0 out of 5 stars Well... I don't wanna hate, but..., March 17 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Reflection Eternal (Audio CD)
Did I not receive the same CD as everyone else? This is the talk of the town CD in Hiphop right now, but I'm just not feelin' it. The beats are bland and many are not that good, plus Kweli is too frantic to get his message across, so he crams too many words into one line that doesn't match the beat. It sounds very off and I only end up listening to the first half of each track, 'cause that's all I can stand.
Now, the reason I gave this CD three stars is because of the lyrical ability and total potential I see in Talib Kweli. He is definitely one of the best lyricists ever, a conscious rapper on par lyrically with 2Pac and Nas. I have Black Star, Black on Both Sides, and Quality which are all of my favorite Hiphop albums, and are all consisting of Mos or Kweli. Again, I cannot stress how good of rappers Kweli and Mos are, but this album is not as good as everyone else is rating it.
Hopefully Beautiful Struggle (Talib's next LP) will be as good as the others, but pass on this unless you can concentrate on the lyrics without being distracted by the beat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars there should be the option of choosing 6 stars, March 11 2004
By 
Q_C_Boy "Sam" (Gaithersburg, Maryland USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reflection Eternal (Audio CD)
This album is that incredible. Incredible, incredible, incredible...and did I mention that it's pretty frikkin' incredible? Well, believe it or not at one point I thought this album was very ordinary and bland. In hindsight, I could not have been more wrong. It actually took me almost 2 years of listening to the LYRICS for an actual appreciation of this masterpiece. At first I would listen to it in my room thinking, "this is pretty bland and uninteresting". That's not saying the beats aren't up to par. They are...however when you hear Talib in all his spitfire yet relaxing glory on the mic, they become classical. I have been a hip hop fan since the days of Tupac, Biggie, Mobb Deep, Big L, and the Lost Boyz to name a few. Ever since I've looked up to lyricists who've came along like Nas, Eminem, Jay-Z, and Mighty Mos Def. Along the way, I discovered old school legends like Rakim, Krs-1, ATCQ, and Run DMC. Thinking I had a pretty good knowledge of my hip hop history, I skipped over this album reducing it to just another "consious" rapper doing "conscious" music. Indeed, it is very conscious and does hip hop so much justice by spreading its positivity rather than all of the negativity we see in it today. I hate to even label it because that might've been the very reason why I didn't give it a chance from the very beginning. It's unfortunate that so many people are so turned off by the idea of rap that can actually make you feel beautiful and important.
So many of the songs here gave me inspiration and joy to spread onto my fellow brothers and sisters. Songs like "Love Language", "For Women", and "The Blast" are just a few that I really enjoy. Talib's range on every song on this track is utterly amazing and wonderful to listen to. It truly is disheartening to see him not being recognized for all of his talent. I hear purpose in his music now and am confident he will change alot of people in the future, for the better.
If you are a hip hop fan but unsure, as i was, about what all the hype is about, I suggest that you don't force it and just listen to the lyrics go hand in hand with the beats, rythym, and percussion effortlessly. Look into yourself and try to realize a different kind of hip hop that makes you think, love, respect, and adore all things in our communities and social circles. If you don't get it at first, be patient. It took me 2 years to finally realize what I had collecting dust in my cd collection.
I highly recommend this for any man, woman, or child with an open mind and open heart. And besides, the songs are head-bangers and you'll soon see yourself nodding your head without even knowing it.
Relax...it will make you feel good.
5 Stars *****
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Means You buy this, Feb. 8 2004
By 
Ryan G Jones (Boston, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reflection Eternal (Audio CD)
After making the classic Black Star album, Mos Def and Talib Kweli stepped to the side to record their own albums. The critically acclaimed Black on Both Sides by Mos Def, and then his partner Talib Kweli shone bright with his DJ Hi-Tek on their debut, Train of Thought. Together, the group known as Reflection Eternal was able to lace a well produced album.
Kweli is a great narrator and excellent lyricist, but this is all helped with the brilliant musicianship of his partner Hi-Tek. Hi-Tek is able take covers from Patti LaBelle's "Funky Music" and change it into "Soul Rebel" as well as Nina Simone's cover which is a favorite of mine in the final track, "For Women." There are several guest appearances by of course Mos Def on "This Means You," De La Soul on "Soul Rebels," and Xzibit and Rah Digga on "Down For the Count." The album features many laid back soft tunes, "Too Late" and "Memories Live," that counter a few of the up tempo songs such as "This Means You." Music fans of many genres will apreciate this album as Hi-Tek and Kweli fuse jazz, R&B, and rap in this essential hip-hop CD. Don't miss the boat and experience hip-hop at its finest!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hip Hop at its best, Jan. 17 2004
By 
ryan traeger (Ft. Collins CO) - See all my reviews
I'm a pretty big hip hop fan(when I say hip hop I mean Hieroglyphics, Common, and Zion I). I've been listening to Kweli for about a year and a half and I can appreciate every track he is on. This cd is a monumental classic in my opinion. Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek are both incredible throughout the album. Songs like Eternalists, This Means You, Love Language, and, For Women, make this cd well worth the cost. I can't say that any song is even mediocre. Each song has great beats and even greater lyrics!!! I wouldn't dare skip a track on this masterpiece. I have to mention that this cd comes with the average fold out with the cd containing all the lyrics for the songs. How many hip hop artists let people read their songs from their album? The only other hip hop artist I know of that has lyrics with their cd is Outkast. It's great to read the lyrics on their own and capture the true meaning of the song then the music becomes more fulfilling. This is a must buy if you love hip hop and hate all the radio crap. Talib Kweli is one of my favorite mc's up there with Del Tha Funky Homosapien, Blackalicious, and Chali 2Na from Jurassic 5. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Album Still Remains an unmitigated Classic�., Jan. 9 2004
This review is from: Reflection Eternal (Audio CD)
As one half of the profoundly intelligent socially conscious rap group "Blackstar" (with fellow rapper "Mos Def")....Talib Kweli decides to go it alone with his first album. And in what could have amounted to a disastrous debut, is in fact one of supremely assured first effort, capable of standing with the finest intellectual albums Hip-Hop has to offer. As with his previous collaborative effort...the emphasis here is on Intelligent Thought, Civil rights, Social unity & Equality, & most importantly Freedom of expression...Talib gives credit to other rappers whom preach the benefits of self-motivation as opposed to needless posturing and gun-totting lyrics, as well as praising Black women for being a guiding light for positive black men.....and he give props to his parents for not divorcing until, he & his brothers & Sister were old enough to understand the break up & fend for themselves. At the age of 21 this is nothing short of visionary, for someone so young and wise beyond his years, and yet he never once lowers the tone or intelligence of his lyrics in an effort to appeal to a wider audience. And therein by virtually educating people that assumed that Hip-Hop was all about aggressive, misogynistic bling, bling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reflection Eternal "Train of Thought", Jan. 8 2004
This review is from: Reflection Eternal (Audio CD)
This is a highly anticipated album and it lives up to it's billing. This album incorporates reflective and bragadocious rhymes. This album has a beginning, middle and an end, if you are interested in good diverse hip-hop you need to pick this one.
The other half of Blackstar represents to the fullest, this is an incredible album that is choc full of knowledge and beats. This is going to be in your rotation for many years, to me it is a classic and you need to pick it up in order to see for yourself.
If you think Mos Def's album is good wait to you check this album it has everything from jazz, to club jams, to just laid black smoothed out jams.
On this album you will see how diverse Hi-Tek is he is a gifted producer and dj and I think after this album drops he will have a lot of offers on his plate. This album is going to catapult him to do much more work with other artist.
These two have a great chemistry together and I can't wait for their next album because it will be that much better.
They have so much potential and they only cracked the surface with this album when they drop the second one that is the one that is going to be over the top.
I give this album a classic rating and I know the next one is going to be the banger maybe the best album I have ever heard that's how much potential these guys have.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I now own this cd... now what?, Dec 3 2003
By 
Darius Jackson "Action Jackson" (Rocklin, California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reflection Eternal (Audio CD)
Perhaps I didn't obtain the same copy as the rest of the 141 reviewers on this CD did, but quite honestly, I'm not impressed.
So now that I have obtained a copy of 'the nicest underground rapper', does this mean my taste of Hip-Hop is now "right" and "satisified" ? No, actually, not at all.
I listened to this ENITRE CD with my finger eagerly on the fast forward button; but restraining myself with the thought "Maybe the track will grow on me" after the first listen, from track 1 to 20 (way to many tracks) I was in shock that I didn't find ATLEAST 1 track on here that was a real banger. It sounds like Hi-Tek didn't do anything risky, or new with boards - all beats on this CD are extremly conservative. There is not ONE beat on this cd that just lashes out and kicks your ass, or just makes your speakers scream for help because of the intense frequencies.
Perhaps to sum, conservative, non-risky, "overaly relaxed" chill beats is there thing - and frankly, I don't mind a few here and there - but to go through 20 tracks of this is extremly dull and boring.
The 2 stars comes from Kewli himself. There is no doubt that the man has flow, and nice mic control; but you ya'll make him out to be the ONLY MC to have this nice of a flow and lyrics. What about C-rayz Walz? Or Slug from Atmosphere? Pep Love from Hieroglyphics? And that's just a small few that can shine just as good if not greater then Kweli. It seems as though Kweli fans hog all the respect to Kewli only; and no one else - get a grip of yourselves.
Oh, and before I conclude - How can someone in there right mind say Talib Kweli is better then 2pac? Are you stupid, son? That's like claiming Lebron James is better then Micheal Jordan. Sure, no doubt Lebron James is a nice basketball player - but comparing him to someone that holds tons of records, has 6(?) championships, and loads of respect - it's out right rediculous.
I mean honestly, get real.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC. Period., Nov. 18 2003
By 
"paperboy_2000" (West Covina, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reflection Eternal (Audio CD)
If you don't already own this disc, man, wake up! You're sleeping on one of the best hip-hop CDs of all time. I've personally owned this album for at least a year and it still doesn't get old. So much so that I had to check out what some of ya'll wrote as reviews, just to support my feelings that "Train of Thought" is one of the top 5 hip-hop joints ever released. Evidently most listeners feel the same.
Thing is, "Train of Thought" isn't simply rap, or even hip-hop for that matter. This solid debut from Reflection Eternal is just plain music ... to merely label it as rap or underground or whatever tag you wanna slap on it would downplay its significance. Kweli and Hi-Tek are a match made in musical heaven. Kweli is an aggressive battle rapper, an insightful lyricist and a soulful wordsmith. Fused with Hi-Tek's dexterious production; whether over a bluesy bounce, a funky bassline or an african drum, Talib's spiritual introspection and social commentary over Hi-Tek's utterly immactulate beats are truly timeless contributions to hip-hop culture, and music in general.
Some of the aforementioned reviewers on this site were arguing about Talib Kweli being the greatest lyricist ever. I tend to agree. There's no need to choose a side anymore; 2Pac and BIG's music and contributions to society are evident ... not to mention ... ummm, they're dead. Support artists who are alive and who speak for us. I'd probably get stoned for saying this in public but Talib Kweli makes more relevant remarks about the state of hip-hop culture, love, women, memories and life than B.I.G. did in the span of his career. Nuthin' against my man Biggie Smalls, but he didn't have Hi-Tek weaving musical tapestries under his rhymes either. He had Puffy. The bottom line here is if you want to listen to an album that would compliment your musical collection, regardless of your individual tastes, cop "Train of Thought." Talib's extraordinary yet seemingly effortless flow backed by Hi-Tek's atmospheric production make this album a worthwhile addition to any listener's musical library.
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Reflection Eternal by Talib/Hi Tek Kweli (Audio CD - 2002)
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