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Black Star (hip hop group): Wikis


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Black Star
Origin Brooklyn, New York City, USA
Genres Hip hop
Years active 1998–present
Labels Rawkus Records
Mos Def
Talib Kweli

Black Star is a hip hop group formed by MCs Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Affiliated with the group is DJ Hi-Tek, who formed producer/MC duo Reflection Eternal with Kweli for the album Train of Thought and produced a portion of Black Star's debut album.



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 released one self titled album. Though the record achieved little commercial success, they (and other members of the Native Tongues Posse) helped shape underground alternative rap and helped bring it further into the mainstream eye. Both have gone on to greater commercial and critical success in separate solo careers.

A sample on the album from the film Chameleon Street has generated the often repeated and often misattributed quote, "I'm a victim brother. I'm a victim of 400 years of conditioning. The man has programmed my conditioning. Even my conditioning has been conditioned!"

Most recently Mos and Kweli appeared together in the movie Dave Chappelle's Block Party, alongside Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Dead Prez and The Fugees, among others. They even contributed a new song, "Born & Raised", to the movie's soundtrack.

According to hip hop website, Kweli has said that a new Black Star album is "in the pipeline".[1] On Talib Kweli's Myspace he posted up a video saying that "We're going to find Mos Def and put it on camera that there will be a second Black Star album.

Black Star’s emergence into the hip-hop scene came at a crucial point in music history. Following the deaths of both Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur, hip-hop was consumed in a world of chaos. Black Star attempted to bring reconciliation in the wake of these violent deaths. The self titled album contains various references to Biggie and Tupac, and attempts to create reconciliation in the hip-hop world: “I said one, two, three. It’s kinda dangerous to be an M.C. They shot Tupac and Biggie. Too much violence in hip-hop.

Beyond the allusions to Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, the introduction to Definition [2] serves as a musical homage to the artists. To begin, 'Definition' suggests the anti-violence theme by looking all the way back to 1988. Boogie Down Productions' 'Stop the Violence,' has the following chorus: "One, Two, Three, the crew is called BDP, and if you wanna go to the tip top, stop the violence in hip hop.' During the height of their feud, Tupac parodied Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s Player’s Anthem, using a prominent riff as part of his own. The Junior M.A.F.I.A. lyrics ("Grab your dick if you love hip-hop, rub your titties if you love Big Papa") were changed in 2Pac’s song Hit ‘Em Up ("Grab your glocks when you see 2Pac, call the cops when you see 2Pac") as a lyrical threat to Biggie Smalls. Black Star attempts to recreate this sound in their lyrics: “Say Hi-Tek, you’re ruling hip-hop. say J. Rawl, you’re ruling hip-hop.” Black Star attempts to call the listener’s attention to the legacies of hip-hop’s most prominent martyrs, while suggesting that Black Star is now "rulin’ hip-hop"





Other collaborations

  • "Know That" from Mos Def's 1999 album, Black on Both Sides
  • "Joy" from Talib Kweli's 2002 album, Quality
  • "Supreme Supreme" from Talib Kweli's 2005 album, Right About Now
  • "Bright as the Stars" from Mos Def's 2005 single, "Ah Ha"
  • "What It Is" from Talib Kweli's 2005 mixtape, The Beautiful Mixtape Vol. 2
  • "Born & Raised" from the 2006 soundtrack, Dave Chappelle's Block Party
  • "This Means You", produced by DJ Hi-Tek on the album Train Of Thought
  • "What's Beef", live from Chappelle's Show
  • "Get By [remix]", from Kanye West's mixtape I'm Good
  • "Beautiful Struggle", a remix of the Mary J. Blige song Beautiful, featured on Talib Kweli's 2004 album The Beautiful Struggle
  • "Little Brother", The Hurricane (1999 film)
  • "Hip Hop (Screamixx)", Hip-Hop Docktrine: The Official Boondocks Mixtape
  • "History", from Mos Def's 2009 album The Ecstatic
  • "Just Begun", from Reflection Eternal song also featuring Jay Electronica & J. Cole

See also

External links



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