By 1998, Rawkus Records emerged as the only solution for hip hop at that time. In those darkest hours, my brightest hope was Black Star.
The Black Star album is what I wish more rappers aimed at creating.
If you agree on a number of levels that hip hop's best days have come and gone and have not yet seen Mos Def or Talib Kweli perform live solo or together, do yourself the favour and check them out when you can. In your darkest hour, they may be the Black Star you seek.