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Artist: Talib Kweli
Album:  Gravitas
Song:   Rare Portraits
Typed by: 

[Intro: Talib]
"Gravitas", ha, ha, light it up uhh
Ha, ha, lighten it up, brighten it up, yeah
You want the grown step your bars up
You brag about the scrilla them killers lighten your cars up
Welcome to the complete history, of the one known as, Talib Kweli
Yeah, yeah

[Talib Kweli]
Such a blessin, I'm makin the bread leaven
Descendant of Terra Firma, I'm from the era of legend
The blind on my side, you scared of the world endin
My men of spiritual essence be walkin right into heaven
Ascendin without the stairs, expressin without the fears
We diamonds, but our minds are corrupted just like De Beers
Unravellin minds, travellin through time, "Langoliers"
Standin with the flow like the man in the gondolier
In the park of Washington Square, locks in my hair
Louder than the bull horns we was lockin 'em there
Cops would prepare to lock us up, they was scared like "Tales From the Darkside"
Summer of the Central Park five
1989 was the number, the year that I started rhymin
From Brooklyn to Staten Island them Decepticons was whylin
Music soothin but the imagery violent as bomb threats
Therapy for the prison industrial complex
Provided the context for Laquan{?} with a tec-9
At Brooklyn Tech I spit it the best so they had to respect mine
I did it to death, on my grind on a +Quest+, to get signed
Sorta like the +Tribe+ would always suggest, we +Check the Rhime+
And I'm turnin with Puff Daddy, confronted the buff patty
Rollin with Hi-Tek in the MPV through the streets of the 'Natti
Before graduatin to Caddies was carryin crates
Shoutout to Flex all day doin records with John Forte
We were standin outside the tower devourin prey
Powerful display of bullet points that we shower and spray
the block with, back in them solid days these rappers was appetizers
I played it like I was David, I was tacklin that Goliath
Attackin them open mics 'til the victory was decisive
This life it was so enticin, my surgery so precise it
would chop it like thin slices at parties we politic
At the country club, lightin up dutches with 'Pac and Big
At the crib of Supernatural battlin back and forth
Back before Jean was in the Unsigned Hype in the back of The Source
Rest in peace to Allah Son, Shabar{?} was like they don't call you son
Cause you mine; I call you son cause you shine
What's up Ali Asha{?}, this is O.G. Brooklyn shit
Not for impostors - pour out a shot of vodka
for, Big L (Big L) Big Poppa (Big Poppa)
Big Pun (Big Pun) 2Pac, what?
Word, the jungle is too savage
Rap true master producin the new classic (yea)
Shit is too classic, it's blow to vacant to spinal tap
I started with the Rawkus Recording, we work the vinyl backwards
From Def Jux to Loaded Lux
I'm the +Underground King+, like I'm rollin with Bun, the vets know what's up (word)
The flow is nuts, it's solid, I got the golden touch
Plus my +Iron Sheik+ and I got the game in a cobra clutch (yeah)
This the highest calibre, do the algebra
From Yasiin Bey to Jean Grey to Pharoahe Monch
Black Thought to Common
Almost 20 years after the release of "Soundbombing" and it still sounds timeless
I'm out and on tour with the greatest, A Tribe Called Quest and the De La's
Opened for Jay Z and Nas, who else could say this?
In Vegas with Tech N9ne gettin faded before the gig
Only later to hit the Rio and hop on the stage with Prince (true story)
I always knew the importance of great shows
Since 1992 I seen Ice Cube play cold (word)
Way cold, continue to pave the road
for the Kendricks and J. Coles, continue to stay gold
From makin the way for Kanye to meetings with Mr. Harry Belafonte
All started on park benches with Dante
Predictin the future, so observant we clairvoyant
The frame can't contain it, I'm paintin a rare portrait {*echoes*}