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Meaning of ‘Never Been In Love’ by ‘Talib Kweli’

Released: 2004

Talib Kweli’s “Never Been In Love” is an exploration of what it’s like to experience genuine love for the first time after a life of playing the field. The song narrates Kweli’s journey from a player to a man deeply in love, emphasizing the newness and sincerity of his feelings. It’s a celebration of love’s transformative power and a testament to its profound impact on one’s life.

The opening verse starts strong with Kweli admitting there’s a first time for everything, especially regarding deep connections. He describes his first intimate moment with this woman, noting how it felt like a significant event (“wetter than the perfect storm”). He quickly dives into considering marriage, which shows how dramatically his perspective on relationships is evolving.

Kweli paints a vivid picture of meeting this woman at a bar, comparing the experience to following a star and meeting shorty. The metaphor of being “stacked like 2Pac vocals” creatively conveys her physical allure, signaling how her attractiveness immediately captivated him. Their interaction is poetically described as she dances to his poems, indicating a deep, artistic connection.

In the hook, Kweli acknowledges the haters and the naysayers but emphasizes that he doesn’t care about their opinions as long as his relationship is solid. This chorus underscores the song’s main theme—authentic love that defies external negativity.

The next verse continues the love story, with Kweli noting how she returns to him like “home base” and sets her own pace in their relationship. He reflects on how her absence makes him realize the depth of his feelings, likening his love for her to a divine miracle. The “bridge to the Brooklyn love” metaphor captures their journey and growth together beautifully.

Then the song circles back to the hook, reinforcing that despite their pasts and outside criticism, their love is what counts. Kweli admits to his past player ways and highlights how this new experience of love contrasts sharply with his previous lifestyle.

The final verse finds Kweli embracing his newfound love and dismissing the haters even more firmly. He reminisces about his old habits of avoiding commitment and always being on the move, but now, he’s fully committed to this one woman. His transformation is complete, and he proclaims this change in his music, marking a significant shift in his life.

The hook closes out the song, repeating the core message: love is new for Kweli, and it’s changed him completely. Through his journey, Talib Kweli shows listeners that true love can bring out the best in us and make us rethink everything we thought we knew about relationships.

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