Matt Diehl
October 23, 1998 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
genre
Hip-Hop/Rap

We gave it an A-

Despite a commitment to positivity, this East Coast rap duo is more dynamic than didactic. It makes its ties to hip-hop’s roots clear by reinterpreting old-school classics by Boogie Down Productions and Slick Rick; its new-school energy, however, is anything but retro. Mixing rugged street beats and rhymes brainy enough for boho B-boys (they cite literary references and quote Nina Simone) makes this Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star shine bright. A-

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