Twenty-two years ago, the young Brooklyn rappers Talib Kweli and Mos Def (now Yasiin Bey) teamed up to release the classic debut album Mos Def And Talib Kweli Are Black Star. They still haven’t followed it up. In recent years, Kweli and Bey have been working as a team again; they did a surprise reunion, for instance, at a Robert Glasper show in 2018. Last year, Kweli claimed that he and Bey had recorded an entire new album, produced by Madlib. But now, Kweli says that the album is done but that he’s washing his hands of it.
As HipHop N More reports, Kweli addressed the Black Star situation in a since-deleted Instagram post last week:
I’m tired of being silent about this. I tried my best y’all. Flew around the globe. Paid for this out of pocket. All for the culture. I’m a fan of Black Star too. I want to see this come out as bad as y’all do, or more. But people who never made a beat, never wrote a rhyme in they life got they fingers in the pie and are being disrespectful to what me and my brothers built. It’s in Gods hands now. I’m on to other things, life is too short to be disrespected by culture vultures. Maybe y’all will get to hear this album after I’m gone.
Today, Kweli, who also hosts the People’s Party podcast, has detailed the other things that he’s on to now. Kweli is currently making a new solo album called Cultural Currency, which is being offered as an exclusive to those who subscribe to his Patreon. In a press release, Kweli says:
I am considered an underground rapper. My lyrics critique the status quo. On paper, I was not supposed to be a successful artist. I succeeded in spite of the odds because I was always able to go around the industry and connect with my fans directly. When the music industry told me no, I built an industry around myself. Working with Patreon is the next step in this evolution. Patreon was created by artists for artists. I am proud to be born who I am, but my chosen tribe consists of artists and people who love art. Sharing my art on Patreon allows me to connect with my tribe in amazing and innovative ways.
The plan is for Kweli to drop a new song every month for a year, and he’s offering further incentives at his Patreon page.