Talib Kweli doesn't mind being the only rapper on a tour full of punk-metal guitar thrashers.

'I respect every kind of music,' he told the Tribune by phone from Kansas, where he was anticipating joining the Vans Warped Tour.

Faced with the billing Ñ Glassjaw, Bowling for Soup, Face to Face, Mest, Thrice, the Ataris, etc. Ñ Kweli says he's heard some of the names but only knows songs by Rancid and Sum 41, whose members he shared a dressing room with on MTV's 'Carson Daly Show.'

'I respect and appreciate punk rock, and I've seen a lot of documentaries about it, but I don't own any punk rock music,' he says. He did however, get the DVD of last year's Warped tour to get up to speed. 'Music is meant to be shared. I'm the type of dude I'm gonna get in your car and I wanna control your deck because I always want you to hear something.'

His parents were teachers, and his name is Arabic for 'student of truth.' On his lively 2002 CD 'Quality,' he eschews the militant materialism of mainstream hip-hop and raps about race, family life, even politics. On stage it'll be just Kweli and a DJ, which is fine with him.

Other acts in the Warped Tour include Simple Plan, Dropkick Murphys, the Used, Pennywise, Less Than Jake, Poison the Well, Taking Back Sunday, Suicide Machines and Andrew W.K.

Warped kicks off the outdoor festival season in this neck of the woods. Organizers recommend you bring an LED key-ring light for those dark country lanes.

Contact Joseph Gallivan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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