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Black Star
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There is more than one artist with this name: |1. American rap/hip-hop group 1998-present.|2. Blackstar is a British heavy metal band, formed as a retooling of the band Carcass in 1995|3. Indonesian experimental indie-rock band 2001-present. |4. Obscure Jamaican reggae band from the 70’s.
|(1) Black Star is a rap group formed by MCs Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Affiliated with the group is DJ Hi-Tek, who formed producer/MC duo Reflection Eternal with Kweli for the album Train of Thought and produced a portion of Black Star’s debut album.
Black Star is part of the Native Tongues Posse, a collective that contains, amongst others A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, The Jungle Brothers, Da Bush Babees and Common.
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.
A sample on the album from the film Chameleon Street has generated the often repeated and often misattributed quote, “I’m a victim brother. I’m a victim of 400 years of conditioning. The man has programmed my conditioning. Even my conditioning has been conditioned!”
Most recently Mos and Kweli appeared together in the movie Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, alongside Jill Scott, Dead Prez and The Fugees, among others. They even contributed a new song, “Born & Raised”, to the movie’s soundtrack.
In November 2009, members and collaborators of Black Star released a collaboration album with the alt-blues/rock band, The Black Keys, under the title “The Blakroc Project.” Project members included RZA, Jim Jones, Mos Def, Q-Tip, and others.
According to hip hop website, Kweli has said that a new Black Star album is “in the pipeline”. On Talib Kweli’s Myspace he posted up a video saying that “We’re going to find Mos Def and put it on camera that there will be a second Black Star album.
Albums|Black Star (1998) Rawkus Records |Untitled Second Black Star Album (TBA)|The Blakroc Project (2009) Collaborative album with The Black Keys
Singles|“Definition”(1998) |“Respiration” (1999)
Other collaborations|“Know That” from Mos Def’s 1999 album, Black on Both Sides |“Joy” from Talib Kweli’s 2002 album, Quality |“Supreme Supreme” from Talib Kweli’s 2005 album, Right About Now |“Bright as the Stars” from Mos Def’s 2005 single, “Ah Ha” |“What It Is” from Talib Kweli’s 2005 mixtape, The Beautiful Mixtape Vol. 2 |“Born & Raised” from the 2006 soundtrack, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party |“This Means You”, produced by DJ Hi-Tek on the album Train Of Thought |“What’s Beef”, live from Chappelle’s Show |“Get By [remix]”, from Kanye West’s mixtape Freshman Adjustment 3 |“Gitcha, Gitcha, Gitcha”, from Talib Kweli’s 2004 album The Beautiful Struggle |“Little Brother”, The Hurricane
(2)Blackstar is a British heavy metal band, formed as a retooling of the band Carcass in 1995 but without Bill Steer along with former Cathedral guitarist Mark Griffiths. The band name comes from a Carcass song off the Swansong 1996 album. Thus far they have released only a single album.
After a while the band was forced to change its name to Blackstar Rising. The band dissolved because Ken Owen suffered from a brain haemorrhage.
(3) This dark alternative rock band was formed in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2000 based on the common taste of its members, Emir (vocal), Aloel (guitar), Yudi (guitar), Q-nos (bass), Ine (keyboard) and Roby (drum). They had always adored british bands such as Radiohead and Muse, and started playing to cover their music. The name “Black Star” itself was taken from a track in Radihead’s album, The Bends.
In 2005, they started recording their own material. Swiftly they gained attention of indie music community and acquired got good reviews by the media, especially for their single “Schizofernia”. Their long-anticipated debut album shall be released in August 2008.
Free tracks can be downloaded at their offical website,
Buy their album at
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