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Black Star, Duo of Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli, Reunite for First Album in 24 Years, ‘No Fear of Time’

Long-awaited Madlib-produced LP will arrive exclusively on Luminary podcast network on May 3

Daniel Kreps Apr 09, 2022

Black Star Mathieu Bitton

Black Star
, the acclaimed and long-dormant hip-hop super duo of Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Talib Kweli, have reunited for their first new album in nearly a quarter-century… but you’ll have to be a subscriber of the podcast network Luminary to hear it.

On May 3, Black Star will release their much-anticipated second LP No Fear of Time — the duo’s first since their 1998 self-titled debut album — exclusively on Luminary, along with new episodes of The Midnight Miraclea podcast featuring Bey, Kweli and Dave Chappelle; the first two episodes of the podcast are out Friday, offering up a preview of No Fear of Time, produced entirely by Madlib.

“About three-four years ago I was visiting Yasiin in Europe and we started to talk about songs to do on an album, so I flew an engineer out just to see what that would be,” Kweli said in a statement.  “Once I realized this conversation is starting to organically become a creative conversation, I started making sure to have the engineer around at all times. There was one day we were just in a hotel listening to Madlib beats, and he’s like ‘Play that Madlib tape again.’ I’m playing the beats and he starts doing rhymes to the beats. And that’s how we did the first song.”

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Kweli added, “This is very similar to how we did the first album. But the first album, there were no mobile studios. This entire album, we have not set foot in one recording studio. It’s all been done in hotel rooms and backstage at Dave Chappelle shows.”

The first new episode of The Midnight Miracle, titled “BUGS BUNNY MATHEMATICSX,” further details the story behind No Fear of Time and serves as the album’s audio liner notes. The episode also features a preview of new Black Star music, plus appearances by the Roots’ Questlove and Black Thought, Roc Marciano, and more.

“What you will continue to get out of us is a sincere expression,” Bey said in a statement. “It’s who we really are, what we’re really responding to, and what’s really important to us.”

It’s unclear if No Fear of Time, which the duo reportedly completed back in 2019, will receive a release outside the Luminary network.

“Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli are pioneering MCs and artists, and they are business pioneers,” Luminary CEO Rishi Malhotra said in a statement. “With No Fear of Time, Black Star has crafted an important record and a different kind of record release, partnering with Luminary – a cultural label that is becoming home for the world’s most thoughtful artists. Yasiin and Kweli have a profound point of view and observation of the world we live in. We are proud to be a part of this definitive moment in music.”

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From Rolling Stone US.