Monday, June 8, 2009

Mos Def, hip-hop poet


USA Today

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Mos Def can't suppress sheer delight over the exotic strains, heady beats and slurry flow of politically charged poetry on his new album, in stores Tuesday. That joy does not explain its title, The Ecstatic. Such logic would be too tidy for hip-hop's cerebral agitator. ...

Some, even in hip-hop, consider Mos Def, 35, a radical departure from the genre's thugs, moguls and blinged-out party peeps. He wants to excel without being famous ("It's a crazy psychological space, so I just don't go in"). He's a bookworm, a peacenik and a skateboarder, a habit acquired from comic Dave Chappelle. ...



"Mathematics" from Black on Both Sides (1999)

This is business, no faces just lines and statistics
from your phone, your zip code, to S-S-I digits
The system break man child and women into figures
Two columns for who is, and who ain't niggaz
Numbers is hardly real and they never have feelings
but you push too hard, even numbers got limits
Why did one straw break the camel's back? Here's the secret:
the million other straws underneath it - it's all mathematics

[lyrics]

"Life in Marvelous Times" from The Ecstatic (2009)
Bright moments...

Bright moments always come back Vivid.

The 5th great was epic citywide test pressure
The pre-crack era!

Mr. Schollmen, what a prick, attitude matches wardrobe, uglier then sin.

This is bed stuy 82'..
9th floor 3 tiny rooms one view.
Buck-town, Roosevelt house
they green grass is green
our green grass is brown. ...

[lyrics]