is a hip hop group formed by MCs Mos Def
and Talib Kweli
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.
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
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... Read More