Black Star (rap duo)

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Black Star
Members Kweli (left) and Yasiin Bey performing at the 2012 Ilosaarirock festival
Members Kweli (left) and Yasiin Bey performing at the 2012 Ilosaarirock festival
Background information
OriginBrooklyn, New York, U.S.
GenresAlternative hip hop[1]
Years active1997–present
Labels
MembersYasiin Bey
Talib Kweli

Black Star is an American hip hop duo formed in 1997, from Brooklyn, New York City. The duo is composed of rappers Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli. The duo is named after The Black Star Line, a shipping company founded by Marcus Garvey.[2] Their critically-acclaimed debut album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star was released on September 29, 1998.[3] 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.

History[edit]

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.[3] 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.[3]

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".[4]

A second album, to be produced entirely by Madlib, was confirmed to be finished in November 2019.[5] 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.[6]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
[7]
US
R&B

[8]
US
Rap

[9]
Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star 53 13
No Fear of Time
  • Released: May 3, 2022 (US)
  • Label: self-released
  • Format: streaming (podcast)
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
[10]
US
R&B

[10][11]
US
Rap

[11]
CAN
[11]
"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"[12] 2011 Non-album single
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Other collaborations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "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.
  2. ^ "Black Star | Biography & History". AllMusic. Archived from the original on June 8, 2020. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 48/9. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  4. ^ "Talib Kweli". December 4, 2005. Archived from the original on December 4, 2005. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Breihan, Tom (April 8, 2022). "Black Star Announce Madlib-Produced Reunion Album No Fear Of Time". Stereogum. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  7. ^ "Black Star Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  8. ^ "Black Star Album & Song Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  9. ^ "Mos Def Album & Song Chart History: Rap Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Mos Def Singles at AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c "Hip Hop For Respect EP Chart History". AllMusic. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  12. ^ "Fix Up - Single by Black Star". Retrieved June 5, 2019 – via Apple Music.

External links[edit]