Black Star - You Already Knew
If you’re a serious fan of Mos Def (now going by Yasiin Bey) and Talib Kweli, I’m guessing You Already Knew that a new Black Star album has been in the pipeline for a minute now, and that the Northeastern mainstays recently debuted the set’s lead single on The Colbert Report. But did you know they were also recording a mixtape tribute to Aretha Franklin, the inaugural leak off which recently hit the ‘net? If you did then, um, give yourself a pat on the back. I’ll wait. Cali underground mainstay Oh No handles production duties on this blissfully mellow banger, flipping a lightly jazzy sample from the Detroit soul legend’s ‘73 cut Mr. Spain as the duo showcase their respective brands of politically-charged lyrical fire—Bey name-checking the Black Panther Party and alluding to Five-Percenter doctrines in his poetically abstract opener, and Kweli pondering “What if the Tea Party were as black as the [Congressional Black] Caucus?” on the back. Think Black Star and the Queen of Soul are a match made in heaven? The keep it locked for all the latest on Black Star Aretha, as well as on Black Star’s yet-untitled sophomore studio album, both of which have yet to receive a drop date.