Anticipation was evident last week when Brooklyn Bowl announced that Black Star—Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def—would be performing together for the first time since March on Tuesday night (Dec. 17). Today, however, the venue officially changed the event to read Talib Kweli and Friends. The show is set to double as the album release party for Kweli’s most recent album Gravitas, which he dropped over the weekend exclusively as a digital download on his new KweliClub.com website.
According to reps for Kweli, Yasiin Bey was scheduled to perform but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. It’s unclear what the exact reason was that kept the Bed-Stuy MC away, though former Cash Money Mannie Fresh producer Mannie Fresh recently told Vibe that he’d been working on an album with Yasiin and that his schedule was jam-packed due to the movies he’s been working on. Yasiin, of course, is no stranger to the screen, having previously held down roles in TV shows like Dexter and House and movies such as The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy and Monster’s Ball.
“It’s comin, dude, Mos is shooting movies right now, I gotta kinda work with what he’s doing,” Fresh said at the time. “When his schedule loosens up a little we’ll get back at it. We’re there, we’re just tweaking the songs, so it’s not like I’m talking about something that’s not done. The songs are done.”
Kweli was asked about new Black Star material—which was teased in late 2011, resulting in a single but no album—on Reddit during an AMA session this September, where he denied that the duo, who only produced one full project in 1998, ever broke up. “Black Star never went anywhere,” he said. “Black Star was never a group, it was two friends coming together for a project. But you guys give it group love and have supported us for years!”
The show will go on tomorrow night with Kweli as the featured artist, and knowing him he’ll bring some guests along for the ride. Stream the new album—which features guest spots from Raekwon, Black Thought, Gary Clark, Jr., Rah Digga, The Underachievers, RES, Mike Posner and more—right here.