Talib Kweli Talks Gutter Rainbows: 'The Music Industry Doesn't Exist'

'We're not really witnessing the demise: We're at the wake,' MC says.

The music industry is changing, and [artist id="1162710"]Talib Kweli[/artist] wants to be at the forefront of the evolution: For his latest release, Gutter Rainbows, which arrived earlier this week in a digital-only format, the rapper decided to avoid producing physical CDs.

According to Kweli, the traditional music-business models are dying, and it's time to find new ones. "I was being nice. We're not really witnessing the demise: We're at the wake," he told MTV News. "The music industry doesn't exist. What we have is a series of businessmen who make smart decisions and a series of businesswomen who make smart decisions. But the industry as a whole, when you have records that are being played 3,000 times on radio but you can't sell albums? So, for the disconnect to be that huge, that means it's over."

The veteran MC, however, has built a loyal following with a string of releases, including standout solo LPs like Quality, projects with producer Hi-Tek and his coveted collaboration project with Mos Def, Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star. That following, though, can be rather demanding, the Brooklyn wordsmith said.

"I have a certain aspect of my fan base who are mad because I'm putting out Gutter Rainbows — which is a small release — not on a CD," he said. "But it's over. I know people wanna go open it up and look at the credits, I'm that type."

Instead, Kweli will later issue a physical CD-format release through Duck Down Records that will include an import edition and a special edition with all the extras. "You got to really want to get my CD," he said.

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