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Artist: Black Star
Album: Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
Label: Rawkus
Production: DJ Hi-Tek, Mr. Walt, Shawn J. Period, J. Rawls, Geology, 88 Keys, Talib Kweli
Guests: Weldon Irvine, Vinia Mojica, Apani B Fly MC, Common, Words and Punch, Jane Doe
Stats: 1998; 13 Tracks @ 50mins:02secs
Reviewed by: Eitan Prince

1, 2, 3 ... Mos Def and Talib Kweli ... are Blackstar. This Rawkus duo bring an interesting blend of straight up bangers (Definition, RE:DEFINITION) and the jazz-flavoured joints (K.O.S., Brown Skin Lady, Thieves In the Night), and then lacing them with some of the most thoughtful, positively Black, and intelligent lyrics in contemporary rap music. They also place their musical fingers on hip hop's clitoris with the breakdancing jam "B Boys Will B Boys" as they pay respects to the culture's neglected art of dance. Enemies of the culture are also dealt blows on "Children's Story" (adapted from the same titled Slick Rick joint) and "Hater Players". The album is rounded off with collaborations with Chicago's Common (Respiration) and Rawkus' affiliates, Jane, Words and Punch (Twice Inna Lifetime).

It's a nice effort all round, but heads may be disappointed that there aren't more new tracks, while the album is only just over 50 minutes long. Also, if you're looking for successive hardcore tracks, the abundance of underground jazz-flavour may not necessarily be your steez. Nevertheless Mos Def and Talib Kweli represent some of the more innovative artists out right now. [9/10]

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