Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Life Is Mos Def AMAZING: Yasiin Bey - "Bey" (Lil' Wayne & Biggie Smalls)

Mos Def is not merely a rapper, he's a fucking lyrical assassin! Born Dante Smith (1973) and formerly known as "Pretty Flaco," the man now replies to Yasiin Bey. Take it as a mid-career re-invention, of sorts for the seasoned rapper who's worked with everyone from The Black Keys-Gorillaz. In late 2010, Mos Def signed a record deal with Kanye West's very own G.O.O.D. Music, but an album for his new label has yet to fully materialize. Yasiin Bey is currently working on a number of assorted projects: 5th solo album (G.O.O.D. debut), Black Star Aretha with Talib Kweli, and Kanye's label comp. - "Cruel Summer." My personal favourite Mos Def album is The New Danger, which was released in 2004... right around the time that I was first getting into Hip-Hop and forming my own unique "musical ear." It's essentially a Blues-inspired Hip-Hop album that was recorded with African American Punk musicians, Black Jack Johnson. In fact, after I publish this very post, I'm gonna head over to Amazon and pick up whatever Mos Def albums that are missing from my CD collection!

I'm really hoping that Mos Def Yasiin Bey is still poised to remain one of the most talented rappers in the [ever-crumbling] Hip-Hop game. Bey is currently gearing up to release some sort of warm-up project, titled Top 40 Underdog. So far, 2 freestyles from the forthcoming collection have been issued, "Niggas In Poorest" and yesterday's cut "Bey." While he's indeed a highly skilled/witty rapper and humorous wordsmith, Mos Def has always retained a certain level of social consciousness. First, he did it with Black Star, following the after-math of Biggie & 2pac's tragic deaths and I think it's a tradition that he'll continue with Top 40 Underdog. Instead of adhering to a rigid weekly deadline, Yasiin Bey has been releasing tracks to co-align with important dates: Martin Luther King Day and [what would've been] Biggie's 40th birthday. With that said, Dante Smith is much more than just a veteran rapper - A true Renaissance Man who's capable of wearing many "hats:" dapper fashion icon, skilled actor, passionate activist, Golden Age Boom-Bap historian, youth role model, comedian, Blues-Soul musician, etc.

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