By Bridget Bland
The Chi-town rapper just signed Mos Def to his G.O.O.D. Music imprint, according to XXL Magazine. In the past, Mos appeared on ‘Two Words’ off ‘Ye’s 2005 debut The College Drop-out and later on the bonus track ‘Good Night’ and ‘Drunk and Hot Girls’ off West’s 2007 album Graduation.
Most recently, they collaborated on a new joint ‘Lord, Lord, Lord’ which the self-proclaimed Louis Vuitton Don released as part of his G.O.O.D. Friday new music campaign.
but the question remains: Is this a good move for the Brooklyn MC? Or, is he selling out?
Born Dante Terrell Smith, Mos has balanced his love for music with his passion for acting in the last decade. Since bursting on the music scene in 1998 along with Talib Kweli as the rap group Black Star, he’s kept a cult following by delivering eclectic solo rap records to include most notably 1999’s Black on Both Sides, 2004’s The New Danger and 2009's not-so-public release The Ecstatic.
For the most part, Mos' sound is tough to describe because it continues to evolve. It could be identified as rap meets rock 'n' roll meets soul with a jazz influence. But, mostly it has a tinge of political context in a way that a lot of platinum-selling artists seldom have, which explains his recurring appearances on HBO's Real Time With Bill Mahr. It appears West and Mos have a lot in common, always speaking their minds and never afraid to deliver something distinctly different from what the masses are expecting.
Mos is already set to team with Jay Electronica for a nine-song set called Simpatico. And, in the past two years has collaborated with The Roots, Stephen Marley, the Black Keys, and Somali MC K’naan. West doesn't normally choose such out-of-the-box people to collaborate with—focusing normally on big-name artists like Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne and Swizz Beatz—but, every now-and-then the Grammy Award-winning MC and producer surprises fans. Remember when Kanye linked with producer/composer Jon Brion, best known for his work with Fiona Apple, to helm his acclaimed sophomore album, Late Registration.
In between releasing new music, Mos has appeared on Broadway in Topdog/Underdog and in films like Brown Sugar, Monster’s Ball, Bamboozled and 16 Blocks to name a few.
To date, being affiliated with G.O.O.D. Music has only helped the careers of John Legend, Common and Kid Cudi, but some of the label’s mainstay acts like Consequence and GLC have yet to make a name for themselves.
Still, when you’ve achieved modest fame already and join Mr. West’s camp like another new signee Clipse MC Pusha T, it seems like a win so this career collaboration might work to Mos Def’s advantage. What do you think? Tell us in a comment below!