Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mos Def = Yasiin Bey?

I finally got to listening to "Yasiin Bey" - Mos Def's new alter ego now that he's Muslim (or something, he's been Muslim for years).

First thought: This is just terrible. What the hell happened?

It's unfortunate especially to see Malcolm X used in such a garbage music video.

But first thoughts aren't always right. It's not all bad. At all. Just really, really strange. Here's him rapping over a variation of what sounds like either the Kill Bill or a Clint Eastwood soundtrack:

Long intro but I have to admit - that beat is ridiculous. Again, it gets better:

It's a very mixed bag. It takes a bit to really get the hang of all of it because it sounds really different but Mos (I'm gonna keep calling him that) is still making legitimate hip-hop and pushing the genre to its creative limits:

He elaborates on his name change in this bit with the Brooklyn Philharmonic:

The big problem with his Yasiin Bey work, and it's been a problem with each of his albums since Black on Both Sides, is that it doesn't really sound like he is really putting much effort in to it at all. "Black Jesus," the only Yasiin Bey that looks like it has been formally released, is fun to listen to but there is no way it took more than a day to come up with this. Where are the thought provoking lyrics of "Beef" or "Mr. Nigga?"

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