Leon Mobley On “People’s Party With Talib Kweli”

Leon Mobley On "People's Party With Talib Kweli"

In this episode of “People’s Party With Talib Kweli”, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with world famous percussionist, drummer, actor, and member of Ben Harper’s Innocent Criminals band:


Here’s what they got into:

  • Leon’s experiences coming up in the Roxbury Fort Hill area of Boston, MA
  • Being raised with the seven principles of Nguzo Saba (African Heritage)
  • How he got the chance to play with the great Duke Ellington
  • Leon’s early days of percussion, banging on cans with silverware
  • What many missed about Questlove’s documentary, “Summer Of Soul
  • How master drummer Babatunde Olatunji helped Kweli get his career started
  • Olatunji’s incredible legacy and Leon’s connection to the drum icon
  • J Dilla and how his approach to drum patterns changed music
  • Leon’s experiences with Fela Kuti and the infusing of afro-beat into new music
  • Being an understudy during the first Broadway musical of “Raisin In The Sun”
  • His experiences coming up under the METCO bussing program
  • Gaining celebrity status for his years of starring in the PBS show “Zoom”
  • Talib’s vision for Reflection Eternal’s song “Africa Dream”
  • Leon’s not realizing the legacy of Nas when he started working with him
  • The incredible journey of Senegalese drummer, Ibrahima Camara
  • Drum circles being all about freedom of expression and having fun
  • Using Hollywood as a tool to share African drums with the world
  • How Leon became part of Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals in 1993
  • Doing music for the love of the art and never chasing the dollar
  • Commissioned by the Japanese government to make ‘Afro Dance Groove’
  • The enriching experiences of playing at the West Indian Carnival
  • All the connections that Leon has with the Marley family
  • The drums keeping him focused and avoiding the pitfalls of life
  • How art has always been a product of the environment
  • Visiting South Africa during Nelson Mandela’s release from prison
  • The spirit of African drums within all music
  • White Reggae bands and appropriation versus appreciation
  • What’s next for Leon Mobley

“People’s Party With Talib Kweli” is also available to give a listen via Spotify | SoundCloud | Google Play | Apple | Luminary

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