Black Star (Yasiin Bey & Talib Kweli) - "You Already Knew" - Black Star Aretha (Mixtape)
So The Artist Formerly Known As Mos Def and his BK cohort Talib Kweli have finally taken steps toward making their follow up to their highly acclaimed 1998 album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star more then fodder for blog speculation and comment section discussion. After years of sporadic activity as a group I can understand how diehard fans could be hyped about their first release in over 13 years but unlike the other Black Star song that's floating around the internets, this one is as good as the hype would lead you to believe. Produced by Cali beatmaker Oh No, "You Already Knew" expertly flip's "The Queen Of Soul" Ms. Aretha Franklin's "One Step Ahead" and turns it into the perfect groove for the duo to work that vintage Black Star magic on the listener. Mos is still spitting esoteric gems ("Trans-Atlantic maverick/true and living Asiatic/the organic masters/the cream of the planet"), sprinkling the track with his trademark melodic flow which is balanced by Talib's precise wordplay ("We do it for the glory, the ghetto, the war stories/Soldiers on shore leave who Occupy Wall Street") and wit. The chemistry between the two on "Fix Up" is almost forced when compared to how the two co-exist on this joint. I'm all for any new Black Star music but one can only hope this Aretha Franklin inspired mixtape actually materializes at some point.