SONG Talk To You (Little Darlin)
WRITTEN BY Talib Kweli
PERFORMED BY Talib Kweli w/ Bilal
APPEARS ON Quality (2002)
When K. told me I could feature some hip hop songs on this blog I wanted to try and expand the idea of the genre by featuring some songs that don’t fit the criteria of what’s being played on mainstream radio. It’s not that I don’t listen to the occasional Lil Wayne song on the radio. I just think that in order to fully appreciate the music you have to see all sides of it. I have been listening to hip hop since I was a kid and have watched the music grow. The only problem I have with it in its current form is that it lends itself to stereotypical images that paint a one sided image of the performers. There’s a little too much marketing of the misogynistic and criminal aspect of the culture. My generation is getting older and our responsibilities are growing. Those responsibilities require being more selective about what content we expose our children to. Personally speaking, I want to enjoy the music and be able to play it in the car while I am driving my daughter to school. Those songs exist if you know where to look.
That’s why my first hip hop selection for this blog is Talk To You by Talib Kweli who is perhaps the most underrated hip hop artist of the last ten years. It was featured on his first solo album Quality that was released on the Rawkus record label in 2002. The rap part of the song is performed by Kweli and the singing is done by Bilal. He’s another underrated artist that has not received the recognition he deserves and I will showcase one of his songs later. This song is a spin on the 1971 song Can I performed by the late Temptations great Eddie Kendricks. I’m posting his original song too out of respect for the original idea. In my opinion this album is a classic album and is a good place to start for anyone that wants to get deeper into hip hop as an art form. Talk to You is one of the best songs on this album.
The reason I love the song is because the lyrics are an example of a young man expressing his feelings and desire to be with this young lady in a loving and respectable way. It shows you can be open about your desire for her without being explicit. The idea of devotion and commitment to your woman is not something openly expressed enough in hip hop songs that get mainstream air play. There is something cool about being really into that one special woman and I think Talib Kweli does a good job at expressing that. This is the kind of song I tell guys to play if they want to tell a lady how they feel and don’t know how. It's perfect for sitting on the steps on a summer's night with the girl who lives down the street. The actual rapping part of the song is not that long but he gets a lot done in that one verse.
Let me holler at you
[Talib and Bilal]
Can I talk to you? [x5]
I want you, cuz you make my heart skip the beat that I drum to
I want to be the one you run to, when pain confronts you
You're everything, sometimes I get nervous when I'm in front you
You can hear it in my voice when I ask you if you comfortable
Look how love do, I'd practice the Art of War for you like Sun Tzu
Come through and arouse you every morning like the sun do
If you blackout and collapse I want to help you to come to
Notice I haven't yet got into what I want from you
I want you to come to when I come through and make you shine like the sun do
I want you to be the valley for my river to run through
You're everything, you send your soul through your lips to my heart
Sweet music will start I want you to be the muse for my art
When people try to rip us apart we got to work to stay together
Go through the seasons of love and never change with the weather
This is my wish list, what I want not what I need there's a difference
These days I'm learning that words got power so I'ma be specific
Can I have a talk with you?
Can I make a dream come true?
Can I be in love with you?
Cuz I would if I could
You must live in the infinite blackness that exists when I close my eyes
I see you when I fall asleep, I see you when I dream
Set your soul on fire (lil' darlin')
Be your one desire (lil' darlin')
Can I talk to you? (lil' darlin')
Lil' darlin', lil' darlin'
Can I talk? (lil' darlin')
Can I talk, can I talk, can I?
Lil' darlin' (lil' darlin')
Can I talk to you? (lil' darlin')
Let him talk to you
Set your soul on fire
This is the original Can I by Eddie Kendricks