Much like The Boomtown Rats, I don’t like Mondays. Most people don’t. After a couple of days to shake off the stress of the work week, you throw yourself right back into the fire again.

Hip-hop has long been criticized for, well…a lot of things. But the thing that made me a fan back in the hip-hop glory days of ’87 and ’88 was the emotion. Ultimately, the best music comes as part of an active listening experience in which you actually feel something. Whether it was Chuck D’s impassioned political talk or LL Cool J’s overblown ego, the best of hip-hop provides some sort of emotional outlet for the artist and provides an emotional response for the listener. It’s something that’s missing from a lot of today’s music (not just hip-hop), as everyone seems to be rushing to create what basically amounts to a temporarily ear-pleasing jingle.

Not to say I didn’t like Talib Kweli prior to this, but “Get By” was the song that turned me into a fan for life. His rapping is forceful, impassioned, and it speaks to everyone out there who keep their heads up despite life being a struggle sometimes.

“Even when the condition is critical, when the livin is miserable
Your position is pivotal, I ain’t bullshittin you”

One listen to this and I feel a lot better about facing everything that lies ahead. Thanks to Talib (as well as Kanye West and Nina Simone, whose “Sinnerman” gets expertly chopped up here) for this song. I’ll admit that I’m being completely selfish and posting this here for my own personal reasons (geez, Mike. Don’t you have a personal blog for this?). Hopefully those of you who have the Mondays (or any day when things just aren’t getting off to the best start) can get something out of this as well.