Talib Kweli recalls first meeting Kanye West: ‘I couldn’t believe how good his beats were’

He was so impressed with West’s beats that he bought them all, despite having never heard of him before

Talib Kweli has recounted the story of his first meeting with Kanye West.

The Brooklyn rapper revealed that he met West while recording his 2002 album ‘Quality’, in an interview on N.O.R.E and DJ EFN’s ‘Drink Champs’ podcast.

West was introduced to Kweli by his close collaborator Mos Def at the Platinum Island Studios in New York, in the middle of a recording session.


Kweli was so impressed with the beats that Kanye played him that day that he decided to use all of them on his record.

“I said play me the beats, I’m working on an album. Every beat that Kanye played me […] made it onto my album,” Kweli told the hosts. “I couldn’t believe how good these beats was because I had never heard of him. How have I have never heard of you and these beats and this quality?”

West has production credits on three tracks on ‘Quality’: ‘Get By’, ‘Guerilla Monsoon Rap’, and ‘Good To You’.


Kweli went on to recall that West had already planned out his first two albums, ‘College Dropout’ and ‘Late Registration’. At a later meeting, he played Kweli demos of ‘Jesus Walks’ and ‘Hey Mama’.

“Kanye had the hot beats but he was trying to sell himself as an artist,” Kweli said.

Kanye West recently dropped a brand new single called ‘Champions’ featuring a host of rappers including 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane and Desiigner.