Yasiin Bey & Talib Kweli Are Reuniting On Stage To Celebrate 20 Years Of Black Star
September marks 20 years since the release of Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star. The collaborative album was the first full-length efforts from both Brooklyn, New York MCs. The Rawkus Records pair has gone on to decorated solo careers, capturing some of that Black Star chemistry on a series of collaborative song reunions.
In 2018, Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) has suggested that Black Star is working with Madlib, a producer (and MC) that both artists have collaborated with since 1998. In February, he grabbed the mic to tell Madlib concert-goers in Denver, “New Black Star with Madlib, Talib Kweli, Yasiin, coming soon!” Later in the month, Kweli clarified to HipHopDX,“It looks like it might happen…I found out [the news] on the Internet the same way y’all did. We’ve been talking about doing an album with Madlib for years. That’s been an idea we’ve had for so long, but for him to make that announcement…I didn’t know [Yasiin Bey] was going to make the announcement.”
Following the announcement of a July 31 Colorado show at Red Rocks Amphitheater the same night as Nas, Pusha T, and Brother Ali, Black Star is now confirmed to have a major homecoming. On July 14, Yasiin and Talib will headline the 14th annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the breakthrough album, the two MCs will take the hometown stage in Brooklyn Bridge Park to close out a week of events.
Earlier in the 2018 BKHHF week-long lineup is also a panel on making the Black Star album. The LP includes singles such as “Definition” and “Respiration,” and appearances by Common, Punchline & Wordsworth, Vinia Mojica, and Jane Doe, along with production by Hi-Tek, Da Beatminerz, 88-Keys, J. Rawls, Shawn J. Period, and Ge-ology.
Other concert performers are expected to be announced.