You may expect a white, Southern rock musician and a black, Brooklyn-bred rapper to have pretty differing opinions on social issues, but Patterson Hood and Talib Kweli are on the exact same page in their recent conversation on the Talkhouse Podcast.
The Talkhouse Podcast is known for getting entertainers together to interview each other, previously featuring Kumail Nanjiani with Zoe Lister-Jones, Thundercat with Kamasi Washington and Carrie Brownstein with Fred Armisen, among others. For their latest episode, they brought together Patterson Hood of Southern rock band Drive By Truckers and hip-hop legend Talib Kweli.
The two are known for making music with a strong message, so much of their conversation surrounded the relationship between music and activism, and their most recent projects.
“The rock and roll community, or the so-called rock and roll community that had always at least historically prided itself on being sometimes political, were being very silent about [the political climate], and I was pretty irked by that,” said Hood.
This led to a look into the double standard that exists when white musicians make music that critiques the government in any way and when black hip-hop musicians do the same, citing the controversy surrounding Ice-T and Bodycount’s “Cop Killer.”
Though the music they produce could not be more different, Hood and Kweli both talked about the influence that both “Cop Killer” and the early Atlanta hip-hop scene have had on their respective sounds.
The musicians went on the discuss a plethora of different topics, such as Kweli’s trip to Ferguson and the impact it had on him, checking their privilege, the current presidential administration and raising the next generation to value activism and equality.
Listen to the full podcast below, plus a Patterson Hood performance from the Paste Cloud.