Puneet Varma (Editor)

Train of Thought (Reflection Eternal album)

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Released  October 17, 2000
Train of Thought (2000)  Quality (2002)
Release date  17 October 2000
Length  65:73
Artist  Reflection Eternal
Label  Rawkus Records
Train of Thought (Reflection Eternal album) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaen994Tra

Studio  Electric Lady Studios in New York City
Producer  Hi-Tek, Weldon Irvine, Talib Kweli
Train of Thought (2000)  Revolutions per Minute (2010)
Genres  Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul
Similar  Revolutions per Minute, Eardrum, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black, The Beautiful Struggle, Quality

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Train of Thought is the debut album of American hip hop duo Reflection Eternal, released October 17, 2000 on Rawkus Records. Collaborating as a duo, rapper Talib Kweli and DJ and hip hop producer Hi-Tek recorded the album during 1999 to 2000, following their individual musical work that gained notice in New York's underground scene during the late 1990s. Kweli had previously worked with rapper Mos Def as the duo Black Star, and Hi-Tek had served as producer on the duo's debut album.


Produced primarily by Hi-Tek, the album is characterized by dynamic, high-tempo tracks and a Soulquarians-type neo soul sound. It showcases Kweli's rapping and features themes of revolutionary mentality, love, the state of hip hop, and modern African-American culture. Upon its release, Train of Thought achieved moderate sales success and received critical acclaim from music critics. Train of Thought is now considered a classic album, and one of Kweli's best works.

Collection plate

Critical reception

Train of Thought received positive reviews from critics. Chicago Sun-Times writer Kyla Kyles said, "With a flurry of metaphors and below-the-basement underground beats, this train is on the right track. This disc proves that Kweli is a deep-thinking, gifted MC, and Hi Tek is an emerging wax master." AllMusic's Matt Conaway compared Reflection Eternal's music to the work of the Native Tongues collective, while writing that the album "houses enough merit to establish Talib as one of this generation's most poetic MCs". PopMatters writer Dave Heaton described Talib Kweli as "a hyper-articulate MC with a revolutionary's mind and a sensitive poet's heart, but he's also a world-class battle MC, able to rip other MCs' rhymes apart in a quick second". Rolling Stone called Train of Thought "the rare socially aware hip-hop record that can get fists pumping in a rowdy nightclub".

Pitchfork Media critic Sam Eccleston wrote of Kweli's boastful lyrics, "Kweli uses the rhythm as a foundation, building rambling, baroque rhyme structures on top of them, exhibiting his cock-eyed 'skills'. This kind of braggadocio doesn't weaken the effort in the same way his moralizing self-canonization does, if only because he can often back those claims up". Vibe shared a similar sentiment, writing "Reflection Eternal's great weakness is Kweli's excessive preaching about the state of hip hop, but at least he cares". The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) later called it "thick with fierce street raps ('Down for the Count' and 'Ghetto Afterlife'), maudlin soul ('Love Language'), and the type of insightful versifying Kweli has made his stock-in-trade ('Memories Live' and 'This Means You')".

Sample credits

Sample information for Train of Thought adapted from TheBreaks.

Chart history



1Experience Dedication2:23
2Move Somethin'3:08
3Some Kind of Wonderful3:15


Train of Thought (Reflection Eternal album) Wikipedia