MOS DEF, "BLACK ON BOTH SIDES"
Wow, this has got to besome of the best hip-hop I've heard in years. I'll admit that I don'tknow much about Mos Def, but I do know that this album is amazing andit makes me want to find out more about him.
Anyway, this definitelyisn't your typical mainstream hip-hop album, despite the fact that it'sbeen getting play on lots of mainstream hip-hop stations. Not only canMos Def throw together some great rhymes, but he seems genuinelyinterested in creating putting together actual songs with some degreeof structure and progression. This is definitely a welcome change frommost other hip-hop artists today, who seem satisfied putting out tracksthat are really just 4 minutes of rhyming over the same repeating beat.The whole album is pretty damn good, but a few tracks in particularstick out. "Ms. Fat Booty" (yeah, I know, lame title), the first singlefrom the album, mixes some traditional hip-hop beats and rhymes withsamples of what sounds like an old, soulful female jazz singer. "Rock NRoll", my favorite song on the disc, starts out as a rant about howwhite artists have been stealing and profiting from black music foryears (remember the article in last week's Brain? It's along thoselines). The music starts out fairly laid back and funky and then all ofthe sudden turns into a straight-out guitar-driven rock song. Prettycool. The album closes with the funky instrumental "May-December",which features a nice keyboard melody played over some deep synthsounds, a vibraphone and funky bass line (the latter two of which wereplayed my Mos Def himself). In this album, Mos Def comes across as oneof those artists who's truly mastered their genre and is able tosimultaneously able to appeal to both mainstream fans and pickybastards like myself.