Black Star "Astronomy (8th Light)" (1998)
Album: Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
Label: Rawkus, Priority, EMI, MCA, Universal
Producer: Da Beatminerz
The Rawkus MCs teamed up to release Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, one of the most important albums in the hip-hop canon, in 1998. Talib and Mos (No Yasiin) were able to bring underground rap of the era to greater attention. As the first real song on Black Star, "Astronomy (8th Light)" sets the tone for what's to come by examining the idea of "blackness." Unfortunately, Kweli's simple description of stars as "bright, shining, hot balls of air" isn't technically correct since stars are mostly made up of hydrogen and helium. Oh, well. To be fair, we didn't really pay much attention in middle school science either.