Saturday Night Live isn't necessarily known for embracing hip-hop, but since Run DMC became the first rap act to grace the stage at Studio 8H, the series has welcomed a host of hip-hop luminaries as musical guests (and sometimes even hosts). That being said, having an act like Black Star be the musical guests in 2022 seems to be special. Perhaps it because group members Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey were never invited as solo acts or back in the initial indie heyday of the group in the late 1990s. Yet the duo finally made it on the stage as they supported their homie Dave Chappelle's third hosting bow with performances of tracks from their recent Madlib-produced album No Fear Of Time.
The two kicked things off with a fiery performance of "So be it." Rather than complicate things with props and costumes, they took the stage as Yasiin threw rose petals on the stage. The two then proceeded to rip through the song with Madlib on the ones and twos as their lyrics scrolled on the screen behind them. While perhaps missing the flash of someone like Kendrick Lamar or Lizzo, the performance definitely kept the audience's attention.
Next up was a performance of the clumsily titled "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." This time, the fellas rocked all black as the stage was bathed in blue light and a projection of various photos (including one of a very young Malcolm X) was shown behind them. The two rapped nimbly over the song's sinister sound while speaking to many of the world's ills.
Being that this was the first show after the 2022 midterm elections in the US, the pointed political views of Black Star (and Dave Chappelle) were a perfect choice to keep the audience on the conscious tip. Watch the duo make moves on the SNL stage below.