Joensuu, Finland 13th to 15th July 2012 Media Facebook Vimeo Majoitus 360° Virtual Festival Liput Environment Volunteering Festival Site

Black Star (USA)

1998 was a good year for underground hip hop. The two indie greats Mos Def and Talib Kweli joined forces and released an album together under the name of Black Star. Although, later on they both became better known for their successful solo careers, many hip hop fans still think that Black Star was the best that either of them had created.

Their only record didn't hit the top of the charts, but its impact outweighs the sales figures. The record was a critical success and greatly influenced the underground scene. Black Star was part of the Native Tongues collective that was originally created by A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Jungle Brothers. In the 1990's they wanted to steer away from the violently aggressive gangsta rap that really was mainstream at the time by focusing on positive, afrocentric lyrics and using more jazz-influenced sampling.

After Black Star Talib Kweli and Mos Def have both risen to fame thanks to their solo material. Mos Def has also been busy acting in several Hollywood movies. Still, everybody has waited for the duo to come back. In November of 2011 the wait was over as they released a new single called Fix Up. At the same time they also announced the release of a new Black Star record, an Aretha Franklin inspired mixtape.

So, Black Star isn't coming to Ilosaarirock only to reminisce, but to serve some new, oven fresh material. We certainly don't have a problem with that! And judging by Mos Def's recent solo gig in Finland, Black Star's show is bound to be an energetic one – possibly the most important hip hop performance in the history of Ilosaarirock Festival. If you liked Common and Blackalicious, get ready to love Black Star!

Black Star