Thursday, October 23, 2008


I've long had a jones for the rapper Mos Def, whom I met years ago when I was an entertainment reporter for the Daily News. Back then, Mos, along with his partner-in-rhyme Talib Kweli, had invited me to read from my first book, The Sistahs' Rules, at their bookstore, a well-respected establishment the two had purchased from its longtime owners. The rapping duo, who at the time was known as BlackStar, later turned that bookstore into a community center of sorts, where local kids could go and read, write and recite poetry, bond and just be. I thought that was dope, and it said a lot about Mos and Talib's consciousness and heart for African American children.

Of course, Mos has gone on to find fame outside of the Hip Hop arena; he's a well-respected actor who's been nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his work in the critically-acclaimed HBO film, Something The Lord Made (a fab, kid-friendly movie you should add to the Netflix queue), and starred in other heavyweight flicks like Monster's Ball, The Italian Job, 16 Blocks, and Lackawanna Blues. And of late, he's shown off his comedic timing with his star turns on The Chapelle Show and The Boondocks.

But beyond his talent as a rapper, an actor, and a humorist, Mos Def is quite political and extremely outspoken. A friend of mine hipped me to this Mos Def video from the hip online social consortium GOOD, in which the rapper talks about what he'd do if he were president. It's funny as hell, but Mos Def's presidential promises also reveal that he, a father, is passionate about the issues that all of us parents think and care about: healthcare, education, mentoring, high taxes, jobs, acknowledgment of black history, and living an authentic, good life. Go ahead and push play, have a good laugh, and give a nod to Mos Def for giving a damn. Mos Def for president! (Er, um, after Barack and Michelle, of course!)

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  1. Mos Def is surely someone to brag about. And a shoe in for President. After Obama!

    Thanks for stopping by

  2. Mos Def is surely someone to brag about. And a shoe in for President. After Obama!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I like what he says....thanks for sharing.

    This is the year of Obama!!!

  4. I laughed out loud while watching this video yesterday. I love it. He is such a brilliant actor and socially conscious man. I didn't know about his marital issues but none of us are perfect.

    This post is fabulous, the makeover is fabulous - you better work it girl!

  5. I love Mos Def! He's honest and down to earth.Thanks for that--it made me smile!;)

  6. oh, how i love the mighty mos def!! :)

  7. HEY he has my vote...MOS DEF for president...can we get him on the ballot for this year??????

  8. Vote where you play lotto "Why Not" too funny! My fiance could kill two birds with one stone (no excuse) Mos Def has my vote!

  9. Thanks for sharing! Was that bookstore Nkiru on Flatbush-ish? I grew up in the neighborhood.

  10. Tifi! Yes, it was Nkiru! I loved that bookstore, so. They were so very supportive to African American authors, and always had some solid jems on hand for their customers. It was in Flatbush.

  11. ...and anyone who listens to his music knows that his gift is to make simple statements that carry profound meaning! This is why he IS my favorite Hip Hop artist. He is a proof that Hip Hip is diverse, intelligent, truthful and in some cases...PROFOUND!

    Oh, and LOVE the new look of the site. Great stuff!

  12. Mos, take the gum out cha mouf please!!!!!-----I say BAN chewing gum from the world. NO ONE should be allowed to chew it.

    Oops, sorry rant.

    Back to MOS. He is soooo funny! I love his idea about the national skateboard day. Wait, did he say Malcolm X University? I love it.

    Gotta love MOS! He's HOT ;)

  13. Yep, Mos Def is definitely the man. I knew he was politically conscious, but had no idea he was @ work in the black community. I don't know how I couldn't think that though, lol.

    I hope my pc will let me view the video soon.

  14. I knew there was a reason I love this man! He's a brilliant actor and, more importantly, a man with a conscience. He'd get my vote any day — although I might have to skip National Skateboarding Day. My big butt on an itty bitty piece of wood with wheels on it? Not a chance.

    I think I'm about to go watch Brown Sugar :)


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