By Aaron MatthewsRapper Talib Kweli†arguably made his name in the rap game with fellow Brooklyn rhymer Mos Def†as Black Star. The duo's 1998 debut, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star was a landmark for the burgeoning underground hip-hop movement and spawned a number of classic singles, including "Definition" and "Respiration."
The two have collaborated on a number of songs since the record, most recently on "History" from Def's 2009 album The Ecstatic and on "Just Begun," from last year's Reflection Eternal album, Revolutions Per Minute. But despite the universally positive reception of his work with Def and a warmly received one-night reunion in 2009, Kweli warns fans not to get too excited about Black Star's future.
In a recent Exclaim! interview, Kweli simply states, "No new Black Star album is on the horizon." He does, however, promise another onstage reunion with Mos, telling fans to "look for us on tour with Rock the Bells and Paid Dues" festivals.
For now, Kweli's attention is firmly on his latest solo album, Gutter Rainbows, which dropped Tuesday (January 25). Reflecting on the new album, Kweli explains the difference between the new record and Revolutions Per Minute: "Reflection Eternal is collaborative with Hi-Tek, this is a singular vision. There are things I can't do in RE that I can do here," adding that "Gutter Rainbows is a metaphor for inner-city living. When you live this way, you have to find beauty in places where there is none, like Brooklyn. It's another way to say a rose grows from the concrete or a tree grows in Brooklyn, or beautiful struggle."
Black Star will headline this year's Paid Dues Festival in April with Murs and Immortal Technique. The duo will also be performing the entirety of the Black Star LP onstage for Rock the Bells fest later this year.