Once upon a time, I listened to a pretty substantial amount of hip-hop, but over the years, it’s been a waning presence in my collection. There’s probably a lot of reasons for that, but I think that one of them is that I just haven’t liked as much of the hip-hop that I’ve heard. Weak beats, mediocre rhyming, and more attitude selling than music selling. I’m sure that there’s a lot of good stuff that I’m missing, but maybe my own changing tastes have meant I haven’t sought it out as much.
In any case, I finally got around to picking up Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star last year. I had heard bits and pieces of it before and I knew it was well-regarded… and sure enough, it didn’t disappoint in the least. In fact, I feel comfortable calling it one of the five or ten best hip-hop albums of the last decade… not that I really have a whole lot to compare it to.