Most people know Talib Kweli as half of the hip hop group Black Star, a talented rapper and maybe as a political activist.
But if you use Twitter, you know him as the guy who literally spends every waking hour calling random people white supremacists. He’ll get in pedantic arguments and sub arguments with mostly trolls about racism, the patriarchy and other social justice topics. He even once spent an entire three-day weekend arguing that Japanese anime characters are white.
At times he does argue with legitimately racist trolls, but the majority of his beefs are with conservatives, libertarians and even centrist liberals. All are given the monicker of “white supremacist” for disagreeing with his politics.
According to Socialblade (a site that analyzes social media profiles) Kweli tweets 459 times a dayon average of, and over 14,000 tweets per month. On Tuesday alone, he tweeted 1,164 times. That’s almost once per minute, even more considering he slept about 8 hours.
Despite tweeting constantly and having over one million followers, his engagement rate is shit. He averages only one retweet and five likes per tweet. Kweli just rants and raves all day, while his followers mostly ignore him.
One of Kweli’s recent beef was with Escapist writer Liz Finnegan. She made the mistake of replying to one of his tweets about the phrase, “all men are trash.”
Thus started a two and a half day argument (which is still ongoing), during which Kweli has tweeted almost 415 times! For context, Liz replied with 88 tweets.
“He kept telling me to go away, and then I would, and then I’d wake up the next day to a bunch of tweets demanding I denounce egg accounts,” Liz said. “And then he’d complain when I responded. It was bizarre.”
Kweli’s debate strategies include looking through your old tweets and finding a time you responded to a racist troll account. If you replied to one of these accounts with something innocuous after they engaged with you, Kweli will screencap it and use it as proof you associate with white supremacists. Then he will tweet out that screencap dozens of times.
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) May 8, 2017
At one point Liz tried to debate him over video chat, but he claimed he was too busy with his concert tour. However, he does have enough free time however to tweet 1,000 times in a day.
“I don’t have any bad feelings towards him,” Liz said. “He tried to be hurtful but I think he genuinely believed that he was justified in doing so, a sort of ‘ends justify the means’ mentality. But then he made that one comment, about how I’ll never come close to him. ‘You’ll never be as great as me, as respected as me, or as loved as me.’ I think he believes me to be lower than him and was using me as an ‘example’ to his followers.”
While Kweli was feuding with Liz, he had a separate beef going on with conservative journalist Ben Shapiro. He tweeted at Shapiro about 400 times over the same two and a half day period. Shapiro only replied four times, and most of the tweets by Kweli were sub arguments with Shapiro’s followers.
I left and did productive stuff with the rest of my day after my exchange with @TalibKweli. He, however, is still tweeting the same crap.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 8, 2017
Another component of Kweli’s debating strategy is to brag about how great he is. Many of albums, especially his Blackstar one with Mos Def, were hugely influential hip hop albums worthy of gloating about. But recently Kweli has been bragging about the fact he runs an online book store which sells black literature and even Amy Schumer’s memoir!
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) May 11, 2017
When Heat Street reached out to Kweli and asked if his constant tweeting has affected his personal life, Kweli responded saying “fuck you and fuck Heat Street, put that in your article.” On multiple occasions Kweli has labelled Heat Street a “white supremacist” organization. Figures.