After 24 years of silence, Black Star has returned. The classic rap duo of Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) and Talib Kweli have finally reunited and have teamed up with legendary producer Madlib for their second album, No Fear of Time.
No Fear of Time is the duo’s follow-up to their classic 1998 debut Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star. Fans have been clamoring for a new Black Star album for years and, in 2019, Kweli even teased that the record was completed. Three years later, the pair confirmed the album’s existence on their podcast The Midnight Miracle, later revealing the release date for May 3.
Unfortunately, their sophomore album will not be easily accessible to everyone. Instead of dropping the project on typical streaming services like Spotify, No Fear of Time will be exclusive to the podcast streaming site Luminary. The move was made due to both artists being critical of streaming services in the past. Talib spoke about his issues with streaming services recently in an interview with NPR.
“People spend money on things that are important to them. But when you ask them to support art, they balk. Because why wouldn’t somebody go to a Spotify where you could pay $10 to hear any song you want? The onus is on me as the creator to figure out and set the price point and tell the people what my art is worth.”Talib Kweli on the worth of art
Recorded “guerrilla-style in hotel rooms and dressing rooms around the globe,” the 9 track album features Black Thought and Yummy Bingham and finds the pair clicking just as they did over two decades ago. On the intro track “o.G.”, they rap about standing up for the people and always making art that will stand the test of time.
Over Madlib’s dark yet cinematic beat, reminiscent of his previous album Sound Ancestors, Bey sings on the hook that time is relative and the truth in their lyrics will never die. Madlib’s lush, soulful production is the perfect backdrop for the duo’s socially conscious lyrics and Bey’s laid-back flow — never faltering throughout the rest of the LP.
The short run-time of the album leaves fans hungry for more, but remains a top-tier showing from one of rap’s most storied collectives. Bey and Kweli trade off verses with ease and still maintain their undeniable chemistry. Hopefully, if they decide to record a third album together, the wait won’t be as long as it was for No Fear Of Time.
Listen to ‘No Fear of Time’ by Black Star on Luminary!