Black Star is an album-length collaboration of emcees Talib Kweli and Mos Def. The album was released on August 26, 1998, to critical acclaim. The title is a reference to the Black Star Line, a shipping line founded by Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey. The album deals with modern-day issues, philosophical ideas, and life in Brooklyn, New York City, as the two artists know it.
Articulate and provocative, Black Star looks to classic rappers like KRS-One, Run D.M.C. and Public Enemy to inform their sound. Their self-titled debut grapples with "black love and esteem" and is concerned primarily about the stories that aren't being told in their communities. They are one of the few hip-hop bands that realize not everyone in the African-American community is involved in a gangsta culture. That fact alone makes them some of the most intelligent rappers to grace the vapid hip-hop scene in the late '90s.