The Time I Got Cursed Out By Rapper Talib Kweli

Maia Niguel Hoskin, Ph.D.
Published in
4 min readMar 14

Ohhh the memories…

Miami Beach, FL/USA — August 13, 2017: Van Jones shares the stage with Taleb Kweli at the Filmore on Miami Beach. Van Jones is a CNN Reporter/Contributor on his “We Rise Tour”.

Well, not necessarily, cursed out. More like cursed out adjacent. The fiery incident was connected with Kweli’s Twitter exchange, which led to him being suspended from the app in 2020. Talib had a spirited — for lack of a better term — conversation with another Twitter user, Maya Moody, after she commented about colorism and rappers marrying women with lighter skin complexions. Her initial tweet did not specifically name Kweli as a colorist but listed him as an example of a Black rapper. This led to Talib pressing her to elaborate and justify why he was one of the rappers mentioned in her Tweet. Things took a sharp left at some point, and the rapper laid into Moody with an aggressive line of questioning. Mind you, he was not shy with his use of a variety of expletives.

During the time, I was a fan of Kweli’s and had been a long-time follower of the rapper on Twitter. When I read the exchange between Kweli and Moody, I was genuinely disheartened and disgusted to see him aggressively go back and forth with a young Black woman — half his age — on a social media platform. At best, it seemed petty and a waste of his time. After all, didn’t he have something better to do? And at worst, I found his response to be highly disrespectful and a bit alarming. I wanted to ask him, “who hurt you?”

This was when I entered the group chat. As many people do because — after all — it’s the purpose of social media, I commented on the exchange between Kweli and Moody, as many other Twitter users had also done. For some reason, my response stood out to him, and he questioned me about disagreeing with his reaction to Moody. Because his Twitter account is now suspended, I could not find the entire conversation, but I found one of my responses to Kweli.

“I will say that I don’t support Blk folks bringing one another down. Whether that be her or anyone else. That said, Im not sure that she was referring to U specifically. I think she made a blanket statement abt a group of artists that clearly didn’t apply to everyone on that list.”

I guess my response pushed him over the edge and led to Kweli posting a video on Twitter, sending me and Maya a swift verbal f*ck you!


Maia Niguel Hoskin, Ph.D.
Editor for

@zora Guest Editor, Professor, Forbes Contributor, Race Scholar, Activist, Therapist, Keynote Speaker, Consultant, Wife, Mother, & Addict of Ice Cream &Cheese.