Mos Def – Black on Both Sides

By Mike Carron

On his solo debut album, MOs Def gives listeners a run for their money. His earlier project Black Star, with Talib Kweli, took the hip-hop world and its critics by storm. MOs Def returns with an album sure to please fans and win some new ones. In a time when it seems like everyone who can make a CD does, MOs Def is a refreshing taste of quality and talent.

The music is good and the lyrics are powerful, but at times, MOs Def is combining the two.

One song which illustrates MOs Def’s ability to fuse music and samples with vocal talent is "Ms. Fat Booty," which samples Aretha Franklin’s vocals from her song, "One Step." On this track MOs Def raps around her voice in a dialogue which is sure to catch the listener’s ear.

At times, the songs on Black on Both Sides start out chaotic and end in a harmony–a style which leaves listeners wanting more. MOs Def knows how to tease his fans. As each song begins to take hold and get real good, MOs Def jumps to the next track in transitions which are often jarring. At other times, however, they’re so smooth you have to look at your CD player to see where one leaves off and another starts up. Every song is good and should be heard by anyone who likes hip hop.

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