The duo that is Black Star recently appeared on The Colbert Reportto speak on a variety of issues concerning their group and music. The duo also took to the Colbert Report stage and presented the show’s host with “classy warrior” gear. During the program, Mos Def explained his name change to Yasiin and joined Kweli in a discussion about underground and “corporate” Rap.
When asked about his name change, Yasiin explained that he is not going by Mos Def any longer and later likened it to Mark Twain.
“Nope. I am not using Mos Def as a professional name anymore,” he said. Stephen Colbert, the show’s host made light of this, asking, “Why would you not be Mos Def anymore? He’s a famous guy who sells records. Why would you do that?”
The conversation took a turn to the labels that people have placed on art for years, including the “underground” label placed on Black Star.
“Underground Rap is a label we never really understood,” Yasiin noted. “What does it mean? Is it that we don’t rhyme above sea level? I don’t know. But, there’s a lot of diversity in Hip Hop, there’s a lot of different styles across all different genres of art. People like to label things, I guess…We just do what we do, underground or above ground.”
Kweli then spoke to what it means to be independent, not tied to corporate sponsors.
“That’s what’s great about us being able to do this show. Both me and Yasiin, are in creative spaces and professional spaces where we are not aligned with any particular record company. When we perform music or when you get music from us at this point, you’re getting it directly from us. There’s no middle man. It’s straight up independent.”
Further video provided by Comedy Central.