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Black Star - Definition

[mos def]
Lawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwd, lawd have mercy
All nice and peace and true, follow me now, we say
Say hi-tek yes you're ruling hip-hop
Say J. Rawls yes you're ruling hip-hop
Redefinition say you're ruling hip-hop
Say black star come to rock it non...

Yo, from the first to the last of it, delivery is passionate
The whole and not the half of it, vocab and not the math of it
Projectile that them blasted with, accurate assassin shit
Me and kweli close like, bethlehem and nazareth
After this you be pressing rewind on top your master disk
Shining like an asterisk for all those that be gatherin
Connectin like a roundhouse from the townhouse to the tenaments
Cause all my brooklyn residents, ? Heavy regiments
Don't believe, here the evidence, where brooklyn whaaaaaaaoohhhh
See that? Bound to take it all kid, believe that
From where they sellin tree at, to where the police be at
Talib kweli e-kweli-ty yo tell them where we be at

[talib kweli]
Brooklyn new york city where they paint murals of biggie
In cash we trust cause it's ghetto fabulous, life look pretty
What a pity -- blunts is still fifty cents, it's intense
Tree scents is dominant can't be covered with incense
My presence felt my name is kweli from the eternal reflection
People thinkin mc is short hand for mis conception
Let me meditate, set it straight, came to the conclusion
That most of these cats is featherweight, let me demonstrate
Walkin the streets is like battlin, be careful with your body
You must know karate or think your soul is bulletproof like sade
Stop actin like a bitch already, be a visionary
And maybe you can see your name in the column of obituary
Third rate teacher readin and talkin about,
"i knew he'd amount to nothin"
Neighbors like, "he was the quiet type,
Who'd have thought they was frontin? "
Talkin +loud+ like you in rca, get carted away
With body parts and treys, what a way to start your day
Yo it's like

Chorus: mos def and talib kweli

One two three
Mos def and talib kweli
We came to rock it on to the tip-top
Best alliance in hip-hop, wyahhhhh
I said one two three
It's kind of dangerous to be a emcee
They shot tupac and biggie
Too much violence in hip-hop, wyahhhhh

[mos def]
I said manhattan keep on makin it (bo!), brooklyn keep on takin it (bo!)
So relax we're takin it back, redhook where we're livin at
Plenty cats be strugglin not hustlin and bubblin
It ain't about production and -- what else we discussin?
When the c*** crows, my crop grows, enable me to rock flows
Strivin for perfection ever since I was a snot-nosed
Colossal, true original b-boy apostle
Standin on the rooftop with the, zulu gestapo

[talib kweli]
You think you the shit
Somebody in the wings'll force you to quit
It could be your crew or click
Or some random kid you smoked buddha with
Consider me the entity within the industry without a history
Of spittin the epitome, of stupidity -- livin my life
Expressin my liberty, it gotta be done properly
My name is in the middle of e-kweli-ty
People follow me and other cats they hear him flow
And assume I'm the real one with lyrics like I'm cyrano

[mos def]
Still sippin wishin well water, imported, from pluto
Three hundred and sixty milliliters for all our believers
In miles or kilometers, most cats, cannot proceed us
In the jungle with the leaders we the lions you the +cheaters+
A cypher, will complete us if we come through your receivers
You can play us and repeat us and then take us home and read us
(line for line) good jesus, mos def and kweli just
Make a pussy freeze up, thinkin we will ease up


The first of two “definition”-themed songs (peep the remix) on Mos and Kweli’s 1999 classic "Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star". Flips several songs by Boogie Down Productions. Hi-Tek’s beat is a reworking of “The P is Free”, the hook is an interpolation of “Stop the Violence”, and Mos throws in a line from “The Bridge Is Over”. This song is Black Star’s take on violence in hip-hop and their dislike of it, this song comes a couple of years after 2Pac and Biggie Smalls were both shot dead. Producer Hi-Tek said the following about the track: "I went home to my Cincinnati studio and just did what I felt from it. I think I made the beat on the MPC60. Basically, I just flipped the ‘P Is Free’ beat and put my own thing on it. I gave Mos the beat and he liked it. He flew me and Kweli out to LA— he was out there doing some movie stuff—and found a studio through a good friend of ours. Even when he gave me the idea, I felt like it was too simple for me. At the time, I felt like I had something to prove to separate myself from a lot of other East Coast producers. I always try to do something different."

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