September 29, 2014

Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are "Black Star" (Rap Pages, 1/99)

"These two cats define the latest trends of lyricism, apparel and a cutting-edge lifestyle in the most prestigious underground circles. This album is nice; maybe the underground's best this year! Kweli is about dexterity, speed and head-twisting lyrics, which, on "Twice Inna Lifetime" (featuring Jane Doe, Punch and Words), ride the pounding bass bass bulges of the track perfectly, or even subtly, as on "Thieves of the Night" produced by 88 Keys: "A lot of cats who buy records are straight broke / But my language be universal, they be reciting my quotes / While R&B singers hit bad notes." From his tackling jaw-action on the revitalized BDP cut titled "Definition" or Slick Rick's "Children's Story." Peep the visuals to their single "Definition" and more, continued below...

"Mos Def, like Q-Tip of Tribe, is armed with a personality that's hard to hate. So are his microphone skills, which appear so flavorful in Caribbean tones and melodic flows at times; on "Brown Skin Lady," produced by J. Rawls, they weigh a ton on the backs of brothers craving girls looking like a casting call for Friends. Together they truly uphold the black, red and green flag in which pride can be savored. Also, DJ Hi-Tek must be commended for his six emancipated productions, of which "RE: DEFinition," "KOS Determination," featuring Vinia Mojica, and "Respiration," featuring Common, evoke a special classy edge and jazzy feel - the narration at the end and beginning of each song is effective along with the rest of the album." - Rap Pages, January 1999. Full review available below.