Showing posts with label mos def. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mos def. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

resonators 2019 - episode #021 - 'black on both sides' by mos def (VIDEO)

Honestly a bit surprised I managed to get this out on time... but hey, it's a great album, happy to talk about it. Enjoy!

Monday, September 30, 2019

resonators 2019 - episode #021 - 'black on both sides' by mos def

You know, one thing I've struggled with on this series is the question of mystique, especially as it's the sort of thing that's tough to contextualize outside of the explicit moment in which it's felt, and it's a feeling that has persisted with certain acts for far longer than you'd expect. And you can argue there are acts who came and went so quickly with projects that seemed so transcendent that the legacy sticks for years or even decades - hell, Jay Electronica has kept hype alive on the potential of a project for over a decade now!

But if you're removed from the time, if you weren't there... well, it's complicated, because you're trying to contextualize a moment and capture its significance, but also be realistic on how the art's impact has persisted, how much of that luster remains. And I can't think of many living rappers who have captured that sort of mystique to hold it for so long as Yasiin Bey, who twenty years ago was known as Mos Def. Now we've already talked about Mos Def in this series thanks to his landmark breakthrough with Talib Kweli in Black Star, but in the process both artists were building towards solo debuts of their own on Rawkus, Talib's dropping in 2000 under his duo name Reflection Eternal with producer Hi-Tek to critical acclaim. But Mos Def had gotten ahead the year earlier winning the sort of critical acclaim that would allow weaker projects like The New Danger and True Magic to skate by before The Ecstatic would drop in 2009 to win back fans and critics... the last full, commercially released album we would get under his name Mos Def. But you can trace his mystique back to that debut album, how it left such a mark, widely hailed as one of the best hip-hop albums of the late 90s to be released... so let's not waste any more time, this is Black On Both Sides by Mos Def, and this is Resonators!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

resonators 2019 - episode #015 - 'mos def & talib kweli are black star' by black star (VIDEO)

Man, this album was a lot of fun, really happy I gave it a lot of breathing space. Good stuff.

So there might be a slight delay on me getting to La Dispute - just some coordination with how I'm putting that review together - but I did finish filming everything for the Trailing Edge and I did get a few albums early, so stay tuned!

resonators 2019 - episode #015 - 'mos def & talib kweli are black star' by black star

So I'll admit this project was always on the radar when it came to this season, and I'll admit it's probably better we get it out the way now before we delve deeper. Because there's always one: the indie project that doesn't just bring in a ton of critical acclaim, but becomes a surprise hit and even nets a few fleeting singles on the Hot 100 on the strength and popularity of the artists alone.

And what caught me by surprise is that this wasn't two established legends teaming up either, at least not at the time. Yes, full disclosure here, I was familiar with the work of both Mos Def - now known as Yasiin Bey - and Talib Kweli before this, and they both had had some breakout verses before 1998, but I could have sworn they had more established bodies of work before this. But no, while Mos Def had verses with Da Bush Babies and De La Soul and others within the Native Tongues camp, and Talib Kweli had multiple appearances on Doom, the debut project of Cincinnati hip-hop group Mood in 1997 - which hopefully at some point we'll cover here - neither artist had a full-length solo debut ready while they were both signed to Rawkus. In fact, what might be more notable is Soundbombing, an early compilation release from Rawkus that brought the entire roster together and may have given Mos Def and Talib Kweli the connection they needed - that's another project we should probably cover here, come to think of it... Anyway, given that they both postponed individual projects to work together, with Talib bringing his producer friend Hi-Tek and Mos Def looping in Native Tongue affiliates like 88-Keys and Da Beatminerz, that chemistry was too good to squander, so much so that to this day while the duo has teased a return, this is the only project they would complete together: so let's get into the unlikely smash that might not have been the first introduction but absolutely put them on the map. That's right, we're talking about Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, and this is Resonators!