Late last year, Talib Kweli and 9th Wonder delivered something that fans could have reasonably expected for years: a full-length collaboration album. Indie 500 paired the Brooklyn MC and the North Carolina producer at length for the first time; it was anchored by the sentiment that thoughtful, carefully made music could not only be produced, but succeed given the right level of dedication. That feeling was distilled in the lead single "Pay Ya Dues," which has finally received the video treatment.

"Pay Ya Dues" features Bad Lucc and Problem, and was produced by Eric G. (Though 9th provided the creative direction for the project, he didn't craft all the beats.) The visuals are stark: black backgrounds, plenty of shadows, words scrawled across the screen like early-2000s airbrushed shirts. The song is a vital reminder of the time, energy and inspiration that goes into forging a career as an independent artist--or in Talib's case, continuing to prosper through a host of different label situations and several sea changes in the industry.

Always one to stand up for social causes, Kweli has recently pointed out the hypocrisy in both the police response to and media coverage of the ongoing protests in Minnesota and Oregon. (The former is in response to the police killing of a Black man named Jamar Clark; the latter features white militants occupying government buildings.) He has also criticized Ben Carson, the retired pediatric neurosurgeon who is seeking the Republican Party's nomination for president.

See New Music Releases for January 2016