The decision by Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey to distribute their long over due Black Star follow-up album, “No Fear of Time,” through Luminary, where they also host “The Midnight Miracle” podcast with Dave Chappelle, reflects a broad-minded and fan-focused approach in today’s music industry.
In choosing to distribute their follow-up to 1998’s Talib Kweli and Mos Def Are Black Star through Luminary, the beloved Nineties duo are embracing a broad-minded and fan-focused model for this eager age of merchandise bundles. And despite Luminary’s $2.99 subscription fee, the release caters explicitly to Black Star’s dedicated fan base, while also, perhaps intentionally, giving the finger to the major streaming services and record labels.
The opening lines of “OG,” Talib Kweli states “YouTube, they feedin’ us through a catheter/I’m ‘bout to call up Yasiin and move to Africa,” set the tone for “No Fear of Time.” These lines convey a sense of frustration with the digital age, where content consumption often feels passive and automated, as if we’re being force-fed information through online platforms. Kweli’s reference to moving to Africa with Yasiin Bey hints at a desire to break away from this digital saturation and reconnect with something more authentic and grounding.
The comparison to the 1960s counterculture phrase “Tune in, turn on, and drop out” is interesting. While the original phrase was about disengaging from mainstream society, Kweli’s lyrics seem to suggest a desire to disengage from the overwhelming digital noise and return to a more genuine form of artistic expression. Instead of an album breakdown, head to the link below to discover the album yourself, the way Black Star intended!