Back when its sole, self-titled album dropped in 1998, Black Star
set the standard for intelligence and poetry in underground hip-hop. Rappers Mos Def and Talib Kweli had already built individual reputations on the East Coast mix tape and open mic circuit, both espousing a knowledge-first philosophy of street survival. But when teamed with DJ Hi-Tek for their Rawkus Records debut, the pair embodied and amplified all the potential positivism that hip-hop possesses. The album launched them onto the international stage, elevated Rawkus to rap royalty, and set the tone for thinking-people's hip-hop for years to come. Of course, Def has gone on to fame on the Broadway stage and the silver screen, and Kweli has established himself as one of the greatest MCs in the game, underground or otherwise. Their rare tour stop at Revolution is not to be missed -- two of hip-hop's most charismatic, crowd-controlling performers returning to the roots of their success.
Black Star performs with Butter Verses, Black Violin, and Maseo of De La Soul at 9 p.m. Friday, August 26, at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $37 advance, $39 day of show. Call 954-727-0950.