When they formed Idle Warship in 2008, Philadelphia vocalist and songwriter Res (Shareese Ballard) and MC Talib Kweli had several years of collaborative work behind them.
The two went as far back as 2000, when Res -- one year away from releasing her severely undervalued debut for MCA, How I Do -- contributed to Train of Thought, Kweli's first album with Hi-Tek as Reflection Eternal. In 2009, Idle Warship performed at the SXSW Music festival in Austin, Texas, and toured Europe; that October, they released a free DJ Mick Boogie-hosted mixtape titled Party Robot, which featured support from singer/songwriter Graph Novel. Just over a year later, Res and Kweli released the first official Idle Warship album, Habits of the Heart, on the Blacksmith label. Unsurprisingly, the album featured a vibrant hybrid sound that mixed hip-hop, R&B, rock, pop, and electronica. Michelle Williams, John Forté, and Jean Grae made guest appearances. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi