Longtime musical collaborators Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey announced a new podcast called The Midnight Miracle that they’re co-hosting with Dave Chappelle. The podcast is set to premiere via Luminary Podcasts within the next few weeks.
It’s being labeled a “salon style” show, in which the hosts talk about experiences from their personal lives while joined by “guests from among the country’s most influential cultural icons.” The trio reported that they’ve already shot and edited over 100 hours of content and all that’s left to do is begin releasing the episodes over the upcoming months. In line with the hosts’ musical expertise, they’ve also curated a soundtrack for the podcast, featuring recordings from artists including jazz legends such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, along with relatively newer acts like D’Angelo and other artists.
“Making a podcast isn’t the obvious next move for me, but it’s the right one,” Chappelle stated via press release. “The Midnight Miracle gives you a look into how me and my friends process the world around us, and I think it will change the way listeners think of what a podcast can be.”
Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli started their careers together as Black Star, back when Bey was still known as Mos Def. Their album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star (1998) has become a highly-regarded classic and served as the proclamation that launched both rappers solo careers. Mos Def’s album Black On Both Sides (1999) was similarly successful and he went on to release three other albums, the last of which was The Ecstatic (2009). As Yasiin Bey, he did share his first new album in over 10 years last January, however it was only available on display during an art installation in a Brooklyn museum. Kweli has been much more consistent about releasing music, from Train of Thought (2000) to his new record Gotham (2021), thirteen albums later.
The duo reunited as Black Star in 2018 when they began playing shows together again. There have been rumors that they’re working on new Black Star material, but those rumors could potentially be unfounded. Kweli did comment later in 2019 that there was a Madlib-produced comeback album in the works, but nothing has been seen of it yet.
Kweli made news a few years ago for being permanently banned from Twitter due to allegations of verbal harassment. He had gone off on a long rant in a thread responding to a Tweet that claimed that most of the guys in a list of rappers were “married to light-skinned women” that he was included in indirectly. He reportedly sent several death threats and sexual abuse threats to the original poster throughout the very long thread.
Dave Chappelle has been appearing at and hosting events over the past year in spite of COVID-19 safety regulations. He even threw a Fourth of July party last summer that Kweli was in attendance at. In December, he started a stand-up residency at an Austin, TX venue, including some dates alongside Joe Rogan. Around that time, he contracted COVID-19. He also attacked cancel culture back in 2019. More recently, he fought to bring his Netflix series Chappelle’s Show back to the platform on his own terms.
Photo credit: Brett Padelford