Best Alliance in Hip-Hop: Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) and Talib Kweli Rip Lyricist Lounge Tribute in Los Angeles


Last night (September 22), Mos Def (a.k.a. Yasiin Bey) and Talib Kweli, known as the legendary duo Black Star performed at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, CA. The duo united as part of the Lyricist Lounge Tribute Tour, recognizing the 20-year anniversary of the lyrical fellowship.

In addition to Black Star, Del the Funky Homosapien, Pac D##, and Freestyle Fellowship also performed, spotlighting the MC showmanship of the Lyricist Lounge, which ultimately facilitated three albums, seven domestic tours, two seasons of an MTV sketch comedy, called The Lyricist Lounge Show“, and two DVD releases.

Running through a host of tracks from their album, Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star, the tandem rocked a nearly sold out crowd. From the pit to the completely-filled balcony, the usually captious Los Angeles concert-goers participated in call and response, and moved on every word. The two also performed solo material from their respective projects and freestyled back and forth, sweating out an hour and a half set.

Highlights from the show included “Move Something”, “Get By”, “Umi Says”, “Respiration”, “Brown Skin Lady”, “This Means You”, and of course, “Definition,” which were all legendary renditions of the fan favorites.

Yasiin Bey rapping over Waka Flocka’s “It’s a Party” track was classic as well, as the crowd got extra raucous and ratchet for a few moments. Talib Kweli also paid tribute to the late Chris Lighty prior to performing the song, “K.O.S.(Determination), rapping the lyrics:

“With that what? (Knowledge Of Self) Determination/ With that what? (Knowledge Of Self) Determination/ With that what? (Knowledge Of Self) Determination/ With that what? (Knowledge Of Self) Determination…”

All in all, Black Star left it all out on the stage for the fans, for the Lyricist Lounge, and for themselves, as it was evident that they truly enjoyed performing for the hyped up Los Angeles crowd. At one point, Yasiin Bey acknowledged the overall energy that the audience was showing, to which Talib replied, “We on,” to which Yasiin Bey jokingly countered, “What does that even mean? No, we aren’t.”

It is that humble nature coupled with their uncanny ability that makes Black Star one of Hip-Hop’s most galvanizing groups ever.

“Mos Def and Talib Kweli…. best alliance in Hip-Hop.”