Yasiin Bey (it’s 2012, he’s just Yasiin now, no footnotes, no FKA) speaks to Hypebeast about 2 major projects in the works; his Top 40 Underdogs mixtape/series–from which we’ve already heard the amazing “N**gas in Poorest” and, of course, the much anticipated Black Star LP in collaboration with Talib Kweli. Yasiin adds some detail on his working relationship with Kweli after a decade plus in the game, and just what is taking so damn long (good reasons, trust). Find below one of our favorite quotes and read the full Q&A at HB:
You have been linking back up with Talib Kweli lately and have started to put out songs as Black Star once again. How did you get back together with him?
Talib and I have always worked on a project or song here and there ever since we started as Black Star. We always did shows together and whatnot. We have been close friends for at least 15 years now. There is no pressure whatsoever. We didn’t form our identities as solo artists to start the group. Kweli was a solo artist, I was a solo artist and we came together and produced Black Star much in the same tradition that you have seen with jazz collaborations. John Coltrane and Don Cherry teamed up with a group of artists to do one specific project. And that was the real intention behind Black Star. I like what this guy is doing. I have always liked his approach – his skill – and I like what he’s doing and what he has to say. But now it feels like the right time for Black Star to come back. My sentiment was always like Black Star has always been a special time and space for both of us as men and artists. If we want to do it, then we have to do it for the right reasons. We don’t want to come back solely on the basis that people wanted it or a big check. In our professional and personal space we are very open and clear. Kweli is completely independent, no label, no obligation and it is good to have this full circle, having even more control to do what we actually want to do. I am excited.