Black Star brings a night of nostalgia to Mission Ballroom With Dead Prez & Pharoahe Monch

Rappers Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli are both legends in their own right, and when they join forces to form Black Star it’s always special. It’s been quite some time since we’ve heard from them as a duo, but they recently dropped their long awaited LP, No Fear of Time, and in anticipation of the album, the NYC natives are back on the road along with heavy weights Dead Prez, and Pharoahe Monch (with his band Thirt33n.) We were lucky enough to attend courtesy of Roux Black, and our longtime homie and acclaimed photo journalist Armando Geneyro captured the night, check out the photo recap below!

Th1rt3en, (Pharoah Monch’s rock project) set off the night with an energetic performance that garnered polarizing reception from the crowd. When the godzilla sample intro to the classic “Simon Says” started playing though, everyone got the fuck up, as prompted. By the end of the song, everyone was ready for the night.

Dead Prez took over the stage with the complete crew in attendance. They ran through the classics including “Mind Sex,” “Behind Enemy Lines,” the ever more poignant “Police State,” and of course closed things out with their infamous anthem “Hip Hop.” Holding down the turntables was Denver’s own DJ Squizzy Taylor, who made a flawless contribution to the set, leveling up the energy of the audience and backing the performance seamlessly as if he’d been part of the crew the whole time.

After a short intermission, the lights went dim and Black Star took the stage. With veteran prowess, Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli rocked through a number of their classic records from their self titled, debut album including “Definition,” “Brown Skin Lady,” “Respiration” and more. They also preformed several tracks from the new album, which isn’t much of a departure from their wheelhouse sound. Some of the crowd favorites were definitely their respective solo records like Mos’s “Mathmatics,” and Talib’s “Get By” of course our namesake “Get ‘Em High” performed by Kweli. Yasiin stole the show, with incredible energy and his unique radio-style mic and heavy echo effect that makes him larger than life. The no cell phone policy for the event was the cherry of top for a night that had everyone feeling like we were back in the 2000’s.

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