Music

Black Star Releases ‘No Fear of Time,’ Their First New Album in 24 Years

Black Star has released their first album in 24 years, No Fear of Time. The album is produced by Madlib and can only be listened to on the podcast service Luminary.

The long-awaited comeback from Black Star is here. The duo, consisting of Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) released their new album No Fear of Time, their first release in 24 years. The album has released on subscription podcast platform Luminary, also the home of Kweli and Bey’s podcast with Dave Chappelle, The Midnight Miracle.

In a new interview with NPR, Kweli spoke about choosing to release the album on Luminary.

“If you are truly a fan of Black Star, then you will respect the fact that what made sense for us, business-wise, was for us to put it on Luminary and get paid regardless of what happens in the music business,” he said. “If you bought the Black Star album in the last 20 years, you paid Universal Records, which is one of the biggest companies on Earth. You know who you did not pay? You did not pay Black Star, because we didn’t see any of that money.”

Last month, the duo released single “Mineral Mountain” in collaboration with Black Thought and Madlib. Black Star’s debut album Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star released in 1998. Over the years, Bey and Kweli have rejoined each other during surprise appearances, but it was in 2018 that the group began teasing a sophomore album.

Prior to the album’s release, Kweli explained the process behind No Fear of Time in a press statement.

“About 3-4 years ago I was visiting Yasiin in Europe and we started to talk about songs to do on an album, so I flew an engineer out just to see what that would be,” Kweli wrote. “Once I realized this conversation is starting to organically become a creative conversation, I started making sure to have the engineer around at all times. There was one day we were just in a hotel listening to Madlib beats, and he’s like ‘Play that Madlib tape again.’ I’m playing the beats and he starts doing rhymes to the beats. And that’s how we did the first song.”

No Fear of Time can be heard exclusively on Luminary.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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