Gutter Rainbows

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Gutter Rainbows
Studio album by Talib Kweli
Released January 25, 2011
Recorded 2010
Genre Alternative hip hop
Length 49:13
Label Blacksmith Music, Javotti Media, 3D
Producer 88-Keys, M-Phazes, Shuko, Marco Polo, S1, Khrysis, 6th Sense, Ski Beatz, E. Jones, Nick Speed, Blaq Toven, Oh No, Maurice Brown, Drum Dreamers, Patrick "Ty’neg" Mathore
Talib Kweli chronology
Gutter Rainbows
Prisoner of Conscious

Gutter Rainbows is the fourth studio album by American hip hop artist Talib Kweli. The album was released on January 25, 2011, by Blacksmith Music and Javotti Media. The album was originally intended to be released in only a digital format. However, on November 16, 2010, it was announced that Duck Down Records would step in to see the album got a CD release.[1] This included an import edition and a special edition with extras.[2]


Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (71/100)[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk 86%[4]
Consequence of Sound 3.5/5 stars[5]
DJBooth 4/5 stars[6]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[7]
Paste (6.8/10)[8]
Pitchfork Media (7.4/10)[9]
PopMatters 6/10 stars[10]
RapReviews (8.5/10)[11]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[12]
Spin (7/10)[13]

Gutter Rainbows was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. The album holds a score of 71 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews".[3] HipHopDX gave it a score of three out of five and called it "a fairly easy spin, and can go into the listener's steady rotation in a pinch. That being said, this feels a bit like a subdued version of Eardrum."[14] BBC Music gave it a favorable review and said, "This is an odd thing to say, given the dumbness of so many contemporary rap songs--is that Kweli tries to cram too much awareness into his lines at the expense of rhymes and flow. But trying a little too hard to find enlightenment can be forgiven when it comes from within a genre that often tips bravado ahead of insight."[15] However, some reviews are very average or mixed: URB gave it three stars out of five and said, "Talib seems to be coasting just a bit on this cut-and-paste session. As in, from a pure musical standpoint, outside of a few of repeat-worthy tracks, Gutter Rainbows is no cure for your current cabin fever."[16] No Ripcord gave it a score of six stars out of ten and said that it "hovers between a mainstream and an indie vibe, embracing neither and potentially isolating both audiences."[17] Tiny Mix Tapes gave it a score of two stars out of five and said, "Kweli still has an ear for beats, and despite some particular low points here, his lyrics were always overshadowed by his flow, which is as sharp as ever."[18]

Commercial performance[edit]

In its first week, the album sold 13,900 copies in the United States.[19] In the first two weeks after its release, the album sold a total of 19,000 copies in the United States.[20]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "After the Rain"   C. Njapa, T. Greene, T. Ibrahim 88-Keys 1:27
2. "Gutter Rainbows"   M. Landon, T. Greene, R. Mandell M-Phazes 4:11
3. "So Low"   C. Bauss, T. Greene, M. Wright Shuko 3:15
4. "Palookas" (featuring Sean Price) M. Bruno, T. Greene, S. Price Marco Polo 3:58
5. "Mr. International" (featuring Nigel Hall) L. Griffin, T. Greene, N. Hall S1 3:37
6. "I'm On One"   C. Tyson, T. Greene Khrysis 3:55
7. "Wait for You" (featuring Kendra Ross) L. Griffin, T. Greene, K. Ross S1 3:46
8. "Ain't Waiting" (featuring Outasight) M. Kawesch, T. Greene, R. Andrew 6th Sense 3:58
9. "Cold Rain"   D. Willis, T. Greene Ski Beatz 2:36
10. "Friends & Family"   E. Jones, T. Greene E. Jones 3:58
11. "Tater Tot"   N. Speed, T. Greene Nick Speed 2:57
12. "How You Love Me" (featuring Blaq Toven) A. Ranson, T. Greene Blaq Toven 4:05
13. "Uh Oh" (featuring Jean Grae) M. Jackson, T. Greene, T. Ibrahim Oh No 4:16
14. "Self Savior" (featuring Chace Infinite) M. Brown, T. Greene Maurice Brown 3:14


Credits for Gutter Rainbows adapted from CD booklet.


Chart (2011) Peak
US Billboard 200[23] 29
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[24] 7
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[25] 4
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[26] 25


  1. ^ "Talib Kweli To Release "Gutter Rainbows" On January 25, 2011". HipHopDX. 2010-12-24. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  2. ^ "Talib Kweli Talks Gutter Rainbows: ‘The Music Industry Doesn’t Exist’". MTV. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  3. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Gutter Rainbows". Metacritic. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  4. ^ Ian Walker (2011-01-25). "Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows - Album Review". Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  5. ^ Madden, Michael (2011-02-28). "Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  6. ^ "Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows | Album Review, Stream". DJBooth. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Talib Kweli: Gutter Rainbows :: Music :: Reviews :: Paste". Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  9. ^ "Talib Kweli: Gutter Rainbows | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  10. ^ "Talib Kweli: Gutter Rainbows". PopMatters. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  11. ^ "Feature for February 1st, 2011 - Talib Kweli's "Gutter Rainbows"". 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  12. ^ Rosen, Jody (2011-02-03). "Talib Kweli Gutter Rainbows Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  13. ^ SPIN. "Talib Kweli, ‘Gutter Rainbows’ (Javotti Media/3D)". SPIN. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  14. ^ "Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows". HipHopDX. 2011-01-24. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  15. ^ "Music - Review of Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows". BBC. 2011-01-25. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  16. ^ "Talib Kweli, Gutter Rainbows | URB.COM". Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  17. ^ "Talib Kweli: Gutter Rainbows - Music Review". No Ripcord. 2011-02-02. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  18. ^ Morris, David (2015-05-21). "Talib Kweli - Gutter Rainbows". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  19. ^ "Nicki Minaj Surpasses Kanye in Overall Sales". XXL Magazine. February 2, 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2011. 
  20. ^ ALLEN JACOBS (February 9, 2011). "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 2/6/2011". Hip Hop DX. Cheri Media Group. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
  21. ^ "Gutter Rainbows (Deluxe Edition) by Talib Kweli on iTunes". 2011-01-25. Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  22. ^ "Gutter Rainbows (Amazon Bonus Album) [Explicit]: Talib Kweli: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2015-10-06. 
  23. ^ "Talib Kweli – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Talib Kweli. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  24. ^ "Talib Kweli – Chart history" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for Talib Kweli. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  25. ^ "Talib Kweli – Chart history" Billboard Independent Albums for Talib Kweli. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  26. ^ "Talib Kweli – Chart history" Billboard Top Tastemaker Albums for Talib Kweli. Retrieved October 23, 2014.

External links[edit]