Black Star

From24 May 2019to26 May 2019

Black Star

Black Star (formed in 1997) is the American hip hop duo of now-esteemed rappers Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Formed during the burgeoning underground rap scene in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, Black Star deliver a socially conscious, politically-influenced message at odds to the hip hop mainstream.

Aided by the independent record label Rawkus Records, Black Star, alongside Native Tongues Posse, moulded the underground rap scene into something more important than money. In the wake of the deaths of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, Black Star attempted to ameliorate tensions, reduce violence, and fill the void left by the passing of rap’s two figureheads. The duo’s debut single “Definition” was released in 1998, featuring a play on the Boogie Down Productions’ “Stop the Violence”.

Having initially intended to release solo albums during this time, due to the duo’s fruitful relationship, they continued working together and released their debut album “Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star” in August 1998. Extolled by critics and adored by fans, upon its release the record’s image and sound was in stark contrast with the Puff Daddy produced hip-hop mainstream. The album instead choose to focus on the integrity, beauty, and illusions present in modern culture. Featuring fellow Native Tongue’s member Common on the album’s second single “Respiration”, the record charted at No. 53 on the Billboard 200 and No. 13 on the Top Hip-Hop Albums chart.

A year later in 1999, Black Star released the single “One For Love Pt. 1” featuring Kool G Rap, Pharoahe Monch, Posdnuos, Rah Digga, Shabaam, Sahdeeq, and Sporty Thievz. Charting at No. 4 on the U.S. Hip-Hop Chart, the single was taken from the EP “Hip Hop for Respect” in 1999. For the next few years Mos Def and Talib Kweli focused on their solo careers before returning in 2001 to record the song “Money Jungle” for the Red Hot Organisation’s “Red Hot + Indigo” Duke Ellington tribute compilation. Four years later the pair appeared in the film “Dave Chapelle’s Block Party” alongside a host of esteemed musicians including Erykah Badu, Common, Jill Scott, and The Fugees. Following another hiatus the duo returned to the studio in 2011 and released the single “Fix Up”on Stones Throw Records, proceeded by “You Already Knew” in November that year.

Friday 24 May 2019 – Sunday 26 May 2019
Black Star
Boston Calling 2019
Harvard Athletic Complex, Allston, MA, US

January 21, 2019 in