Since the 1990s, Black Star and The Roots have been running in the same circles. These groups of artists are collaborators, former label-mates, and allies in the Soulquarians movement. Whereas Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli have one album and two handfuls of additional collaborations, The Roots crew has more than 11 group albums, and 181 songs by the official tracklist tally. One group has two full-time MCs, while another has one steadfast lyrical giant and some occasional relief on the m-i-c. Just as Black Star is currently making a rare and nostalgic run for its album’s 20th anniversary, The Roots play live on television sets five nights a week and have done so for years. Neither group is guaranteed a spot in the Elite 8, and this one will inevitably prompt debate. Make your voice heard by voting and discussing the reasoning for your choice.
ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue72