Reflection Eternal released their second studio album Revolutions Per Minute earlier this week — 10 years after the release of their first album, Train of Thought. The hip-hop duo made up of Talib Kweli and producer Hi-Tek made a blast in 2000 with their critically acclaimed debut, but failed to follow it up with another LP until now.
The pair recently released the video for their single “Midnight Hour,” featuring Estelle, and they seem to have naturally evolved in the decade since they became a group to watch. But Hi-Tek admitted it was difficult recapturing their chemistry at first.
“Once we got it started, I think the initial thing was just actually getting that natural chemistry and not just doing it just because somebody wants us to do it,” he said. “And once we got that real friend vibe back in the studio and kicking it on a natural level, I think everything just came together smooth.”
Tek said Kweli’s busy touring schedule made it hard to pin him down. He also said Kweli had to get used to working with just one producer again — a process that differs considerably from just grabbing a beat from a Kanye West or a Just Blaze.
“I don’t have an issue with the waiting but I’ve done so many albums on my own that I’ve developed a certain way that I record,” Kweli explained. “And I did have to switch it up. I’m used to getting the tracks and sitting with them and being able to record them and send them back and this and that. It’s just a whole different process when you’re working with one producer.”
Reflection Eternal aren’t too concerned, they said, with living up to the standards of their first project. In fact, Hi-Tek insisted that Revolutions is worthy of classic status, but ultimately, fans will have the last word.
“Afroman got a classic — ‘Because I Got High,’ everybody knows that song — but it’s because of the machine and how it got behind it,” Kweli said. “I feel like every song that we put on the new album is classic. We try to only put classic material, but you never know what the people are going to respond to or what the machine is going to push to make them respond,” he added.
“I never knew,” Hi-Tek said of the Afroman track. “I always felt like, ‘Wow, they’re doing a video to that track.’ I just went and bought this record for a quarter, made a beat out of it and now it’s on TV.”
What did you think of Estelle’s guest spot in the new Reflection Eternal video? Let us know in the comments!