Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star.jpeg
Studio album by Black Star


August 18, 1998


September 1997 - May 1998


Funky Slice Studios
(Brooklyn, New York)
D&D Studios
(New York City)
Unique Studios
(New York City)


Hip hop, Alternative hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Conscious hip hop




Rawkus Records


88-Keys, DJ Hi-Tek, Ge-ology, J. Rawls, Mr. Walt, Shawn J. Period, Talib Kweli

Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star is the debut studio album by American hip hop duo Black Star, released in August 18, 1998 on Rawkus Records. Recording sessions took place in September 1997 and May 1998 at Funky Slice Studios, D&D Studios and Unique Studios in New York City. The album serves as the only full-length album collaboration between Talib Kweli and Mos Def. The album deals with modern-day issues, philosophical ideas, and life in Brooklyn, New York.

The album's fruition came about from the chemistry between the two emcees. Both planned to release their solo albums around the same time, but they postponed their individual projects and decided to instead collaborate on an album.

The album peaked at #53 on the Billboard 200, and #13 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It was released to critical acclaim, but did not achieve a substantial amount of success. The album pathed the way for the two artists to have successful solo careers in hip hop music.

Track listing[edit | edit source]

No. Title Performer(s) Producer(s) Time
1. "Intro" - DJ Hi-Tek, Talib Kweli (co.) 1:12
2. "Astronomy (8th Light)" Mos Def, Talib Kweli Mr. Walt 3:24
3. "Definition" Mos Def, Talib Kweli DJ Hi-Tek 3:26
4. "RE: DEFinition" Mos Def, Talib Kweli DJ Hi-Tek 3:03
5. "Children's Story" Mos Def Shawn J. Period 3:33
6.  "Brown Skin Lady" Mos Def, Talib Kweli J. Rawls 5:47
7. "B Boys Will B Boys" Mos Def, Talib Kweli Geology 2:36
8. "K.O.S. (Determination)" Talib Kweli, Vinia Mojica DJ Hi-Tek 4:49
9. "Hater Players" Talib Kweli, Mos Def Shawn J. Period 4:08
10. "Yo Yeah" - J. Rawls, Talib Kweli (co.) 1:11
11. "Respiration" Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common DJ Hi-Tek 6:05
12. "Thieves in the Night" Talib Kweli, Mos Def 88-Keys 5:17
13. "Twice inna Lifetime" Jane Doe, Wordsworth, Talib Kweli, Punchline, Mos Def DJ Hi-Tek 5:39


  • Track 2 features cuts performed by DJ Evil Dee, and keys performed by Weldon Irvine.
  • Track 8 features rhodes performed by Mos Def, and additional vocals performed by Rich Mason, Geology, DJ Hi-Tek and AL Skills.
  • Track 9 features background vocals performed by Apani B FlyEmcee.
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