Posts Tagged: Talib Kweli

Yasiin Bey Would Like You To Quit Calling Him Mos Def

At a performance last August, the deliberate and sharply dressed emcee, who is also well known as an actor, announced his “official transition” to a huge audience gathered in the parking lot of a popular pub and pizzeria in Anchorage, Alaska: “My professional name will be my chosen and my legal name, which is Yasiin Bey. … And I don’t want to have to wait for it to be in Source or Vibe or someplace. I figure, we’re all here. We can see each other.” And then he spelled it out for them: “Y-A-S-I-I-N, first name. Last name: B-E-Y.”

When a few Alaskans made some disapproving noises, Bey responded, [...]


Prominent White Person Uses Hip Hop Vernacular

When, in his Times Magazine Q&A Deborah Solomon collage project, astronaut Buzz Aldrin revealed that he "just did a rap session with Snoop Dogg and a rap composition called 'Rocket Experience,'" I immediately thought, Oh God, here comes another "it's funny because it's a white person doing a black thing!" video. But perhaps I was too quick to judge. The video is now online, so see for yourself. Also, can we please have a moratorium on "it's funny because it's a white person doing a black thing!" videos? Because, you know, enough already. [Angry comment from David Cho coming... now.]


Talib Kweli And Freeway Go Off The Dome

Last week, we watched Cyhi Da Prince rap on DJ Tony Touch's radio show and discussed the evolution of the term "freestyle." As if in response, Tony had Talib Kweli and Awl fave Freeway on yesterday, and they performed in the style that the legendary Big Daddy Kane would call off-the-dome, "when you don't write it and just say whatever comes to mind." Needless to say, rhymes off the dome are usually not as good as those more carefully written. (Freeway, displays this by starting off ad-lib, but finishing with memorized material.) Either way, as Talib says at the end, "What a treat, man."


Talib Kweli, "In The Red"

Here is a new song from Brooklyn MC Talib Kweli, produced by his long-time partner DJ Hi-Tek. (The two often record as a duo called Reflection Eternal.) It's really good. And so is the video, which was directed by Nim the Dream and looks a bit like one of those old "Cube" print ads painter Mike Thompson did for Marc Ecko. And it makes a nice addition to the list of rap songs that can serve as music history lessons.