After all, this is what it's all about, right? Although Def and Kweli both stem from the same school of smart hip-hop, each has a flow with its own tone. Def keeps his rhymes moving at a pace he's comfortable with, slowing up and speeding down as tempos demand it. Meanwhile, the young and hungry Kweli breathlessly labors to get his ideas out there while you're paying attention, squeezing as many syllables into a sentence as possible.
The record is sprinkled with all kinds of killer lines, including come-ons ("Make love to you like long interview"), twisty boasts ("Consider me the entity within/The industry without a history/Of spitting the epitome of stupidity"), worldly references ("Me and Kweli close like Bethlehem and Nazareth"), and shards of wisdom ("Life is more than what your hands can grasp"). Black Star don't rely on the instrumentals to do the heavy lifting; after all, this was a showcase for two fine rappers psyched to take on a new project.
With all this said, good news is on the horizon. In an interview last month
, Kweli said that a second Black Star record will probably come out next year. Mayan Apocalypse be damned, 2012 can't come fast enough.
Black Star perform with Orgone at Club Nokia in L.A. Thurs., 8 p.m. $38.75-$50 in advance, $44-$55 at the door. All ages.