Rapper Talib Kweli started to recite verses off the top of his head recently while talking to students at St. John’s University. Kweli discussed his decade-long history in the rap game, he also briefly touches on his controversy with Kanye West and the issues of piracy. The rapper refers to hip-hop as a “Folk Thing.” The New York Daily News reports:

Like any great rapper, Talib Kweli knows how to freestyle.

Without any notes or prompts, the Brooklyn native rattled off a first-person history of hip hop music to a captive audience of more than 400 students at St. John’s University on Tuesday.

“Hip hop is such a folk thing,” the 36-year-old lyricist told the Daily News. “It speaks directly to the people and the language that they are using right now.”

Kweli, who is best known for his pairing with fellow Brooklynite Mos Def in the duo Black Star, said lectures such as Tuesday’s “Hip Hop for a Cause” are important to a school’s quest to connect with students because the genre is bumping through their headphones.

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