Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
With a mindset merging street and conscious politics set to subterranean boom bap, Black Star arrived at a crucial moment when hip-hop was struggling to make sense of Biggie and 2Pac's violent deaths. Fueled by the first single "Definition," a re-tooling of Boogie Down Productions' "Stop the Violence," its message of uplifting self-awareness hit college radio and underground clubs like manna from heaven. Other tracks address insolence ("Knowledge of Self," "Children's Story"), black power ("8th Light," "Brown Skin Lady"), and back-in-the-day reminiscence ("B-Boys will B-Boys"). Black Star offers a down-to-earth alternative to the silk-suited players and roughnecks.