Back in 1998, a pair of then relatively unknown rappers released Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, one of the most beloved hip-hop albums of that decade. Though both Mos and Kweli have had a great deal of individual success since then, neither has been able to capture the post-Native Tongues majesty of their collaboration.
Luckily, they’ve decided to dust off Black Star, and spent the summer re-creating their stellar debut as part of the Rock the Bells Tour. The pair returned to television on last night’s episode of The Colbert Report. Kweli and Def (who is now known as Yasiin Bey, which is something we’re just going to have to get used to) chatted with the host, admitting they don’t really understand the term “underground rap.” (“Does it mean we never rise above sea level?” joked Bey.) They also debuted a brand new song called “Fix Up,” which captures much of the same intense ’round-the-way energy the duo put forth on their debut.
But the big highlight came in a web-exclusive performance of “Astronomy (8th Light),” one of the cornerstone tracks from Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star. Check it out below.
Sadly, your opportunity to catch Black Star on the road just got more difficult, as the pair canceled seven upcoming tour dates for still-unexplained reasons.
Read more on EW.com:
Rapper-actor Mos Def announces he will change his name in 2012
Rock the Bells: Lauryn Hill, Nas, Erykah Badu and more live at NYC’s Governors Island
Review: Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star