|Origin||Brooklyn, New York, U.S.|
|Genres||Alternative hip hop|
Black Star is an American hip hop duo formed in 1996, from Brooklyn, New York City. The duo is composed of rappers Yasiin Bey (more commonly known by his former stage name Mos Def) and Talib Kweli. The duo is named after The Black Star Line, a shipping company founded by Marcus Garvey. Their critically-acclaimed debut album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star was released on September 29, 1998. After decades of only releasing singles and appearing on compilations, Black Star released their sophomore studio album No Fear of Time May 3, 2022 on the podcasting platform Luminary.
Black Star arose from the underground movement of the late 1990s, which was in large part due to Rawkus Records, an independent record label stationed in New York City. They, together with other members of the Native Tongues Posse, helped shape underground alternative rap, bringing it into the mainstream. Both Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli have gone on to greater commercial and critical success in their solo careers.
In 2001, Black Star performed "Money Jungle" with Ron Carter and John Patton for the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Indigo, a tribute to Duke Ellington, which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease. In 2002, the song "Hater Players" was used in an episode of The Wire, "The Cost". In 2005, hip hop website TheSituation.co.uk reported Kweli said that a new Black Star album was "in the pipeline".
A second album, to be produced entirely by Madlib, was confirmed to be finished in November 2019. It was announced in 2022 that the album would be titled No Fear of Time. It was released on May 3 exclusively on the podcast platform Luminary. On June 20, 2023, the album was released on Bandcamp.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star||53||13||—|
|No Fear of Time||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Definition"||1998||60||31||3||—||Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star|
|"Respiration" (featuring Common)||1999||—||54||6||—|
|"One Four Love Pt. 1"
(featuring Common, Kool G Rap, Pharoahe Monch, Posdnuos, Rah Digga, Shabaam Sahdeeq, and Sporty Thievz)
|—||55||4||6||Hip Hop for Respect EP|
|"Fix Up"||2011||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.|
- 1997: "Fortified Live", "Freestyle" from Rawkus Compilation, "Soundbombing"
- 1999: "Know That" from Mos Def's album, Black on Both Sides
- 1999: "Little Brother", The Hurricane (soundtrack)
- 2000: "This Means You", produced by DJ Hi-Tek on the album Train Of Thought
- 2001: "Money Jungle" from the Red Hot Organization's album Red Hot + Indigo
- 2002: "Joy" from Talib Kweli's album, Quality
- 2002: "Brown Sugar (Raw)", Brown Sugar (soundtrack)
- 2004: "Beautiful (Black Star remix)", a remix of the Mary J. Blige song Beautiful, featured on the single of the song
- 2005: "Supreme Supreme" from Talib Kweli's album, Right About Now
- 2005: "Bright as the Stars" from Mos Def's single, "Ah Ha"
- 2005: "What It Is" from Talib Kweli's mixtape, The Beautiful Mixtape Vol. 2
- 2006: "Born & Raised" from the soundtrack, Dave Chappelle's Block Party
- 2009: "History", from Mos Def's album The Ecstatic
- 2010: "Just Begun", from Reflection Eternal song also featuring Jay Electronica & J. Cole, Revolutions per Minute
- 2011: "You Already Knew", from Black Star Aretha, the two's tribute to Aretha Franklin.
- 2022: "Peppas", from Westside Gunn's mixtape 10
- "Black Star feat. Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) + Talib Kweli - SOLD OUT | Gigs and Tickets". SoundCrashMusic.com. March 30, 2014. Archived from the original on March 5, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
- "Black Star | Biography & History". AllMusic. Archived from the original on June 8, 2020. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
- Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 48/9. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
- "Talib Kweli". December 4, 2005. Archived from the original on December 4, 2005. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- Erika Marie (November 7, 2019). "Talib Kweli Confirms Black Star And Madlib's Joint Album Is Finished". HotNewHipHop. Archived from the original on November 9, 2019. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
- Breihan, Tom (April 8, 2022). "Black Star Announce Madlib-Produced Reunion Album No Fear Of Time". Stereogum. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
- "No Fear of Time, by Black Star".
- "Black Star Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
- "Black Star Album & Song Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
- "Mos Def Album & Song Chart History: Rap Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "No Fear of Time, by Black Star".
- "Mos Def Singles at AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
- "Hip Hop For Respect EP Chart History". AllMusic. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
- "Fix Up - Single by Black Star". Retrieved June 5, 2019 – via Apple Music.