OK. I'm in a serious hurry here, so you're not going to get my full thoughts--the ramblings I had hoped to put forth in a Mos Def feature that got snapped up by Larry Mizzel Jr. Luckily, Larry's piece got it right. I just have a few things to add:
1.) "Be Kind Rewind" was awesome.
2.) I saw Mos Def with the Black Jack Johnson band a few years ago at Bumbershoot. Dr. Know of the Bad Brains was on guitar, and I believe Bernie Worrell (of Funkadelic) on keys. It was a hell of a show, which made the following album all the more disappointing.
3.) Does Mos Def matter as a rapper anymore? Granted, about once a year I put on Black on Both Sides and say to myself, "(black) jesus this is good!" and rock out across the apartment. But seriously, didn't Mos trade a souless profession for a noble one? Hunter Thompson once called actors "high priced whores." I like that.
4.) I don't intend to weigh in on the subject here, or perhaps ever, but the New York Times' John Caramanica made an interesting point in a recent review of Mos Def and the whole Rock The Bells festival: maybe hip hop is dead if the majority of big acts are from decades past. Anyway, check it out, it's a good read.
5.) Still, if I weren't playing my own show, I'd have tickets to this one. Mos Def on tour is rare.