Talib Kweli Explains The Process Of Making ‘No Fear Of Time’ & Why The Album Dropped As A Luminary Exclusive

For the 150th episode of People’s Party with Talib Kweli, Kweli found himself in the guest chair for a special episode hosted by poet and friend Jessica Care Moore and co-hosted by Jasmin Leigh. The trio discussed everything from Kweli’s formative early Brooklyn years to his decades-spanning discography to the journey of making the new Black Star album No Fear of Time.

The album, which was released exclusively on Luminary earlier this month, has a fascinating origin story.

“It was Yasiin’s idea that we do a whole album with Madlib,” Kweli explained. “He’s actually been saying this for years.”

But Kweli went on to note that after visiting Yasiin Bey in South Africa, his perspective on his identity as a human being and an artist shifted — allowing the highly anticipated album to be born organically.

“I changed my intentions behind my relationship with Yasiin,” he says. “Our relationship is not about music. Our relationship is about our brotherhood…When I did that, it began organically.”

From there impromptu recording sessions and touring with Dave Chappelle added to the cosmic energy around the art they created. “I’d be like ‘Yo, you wanna set up the mic? A couple of those songs [from the album] were recorded at Dave Chappelle shows, in garages, and on tours around Europe.”

Talib also explained the creative and financial strategy behind dropping the album on Luminary.

“The Black Star album Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star was a contract between me and Rawkus,” Kweli notes. “We never signed a Black Star contract.” Kweli then called out Universal Music Group as “colonizers” for making money off the group but not compensating them for the record.

“They don’t actually own that album. Y’all are put on notice as of this moment. We are coming for our shit!”

Talib Kweli explains that this racist history of financial theft and abuse of Black artists is why the deal with Luminary felt so necessary. For Black Star the need for creative control and proper compensation was crucial, especially given the reality that artists are not properly compensated for their work.

Yasiin Bey spoke on the matter before the Luminary deal when he was on People’s Party with Talib Kweli in 2021.

“We as a collective society do not value art,” Kweli adds. “We value iPhones, and sneakers and marijuana…People spend all this money on stuff but don’t want to give an artist ten dollars for an album?”

To get more of these insights from Talib on the journey of one of hip-hop’s coolest rap duos ever check out this week’s episode of People’s Party with Talib Kweli.