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Music

Mos Def – Umi Says

Sometimes I find myself with little to no desire to be a functioning bolt in the money machine that rules in the 3rd dimension. Sometimes I just want to be an artist, fully engaged in the place the mind goes to when listening to an amazing song, when writing poetry, when emerged in romance, when overtaken by the power of nature. Sometimes I want to be a scientist or a business man, seeing all details, executing, making and developing. Sometimes I want to zone out in meditation, sometimes I want to be with someone, sometimes I want to be alone. Sometimes I want to hear a song and cry, indifferent to how my expression is perceived. Sometimes I want to be myself without having to explain myself…

A flower instinctively goes toward the light. It doesn’t spend time worrying if people will mistake it for a weed or if it’s taking too much sun. It wisely and simply follows it’s primal flower gut instincts to attain it’s highest level of flowerosity.”

Sometimes I don’t want to feel like my capacity to love should be limited to one thing or one person, sometimes I feel like everything is everything and there’s no distinction between anything, sometimes I can’t see the distinction between a person and a tree. Sometimes I want to see reality beyond physical form. Sometimes I want to put my heart into something just because, sometimes I don’t need a reason, I don’t need a reward, I don’t need expectations. Sometimes I think history isn’t what we know, sometimes I think everything that’s happened in the world, our entire lineage, all the knowledge of the world is written and passed down not by books or stories but in our DNA. Sometimes I wanna be a kid riding my BMX like a madman through SoHo, a man curating the sounds of the world, a son learning from his father, a father teaching his children, all at the same damn time. Sometimes I wanna be formless, free from this body, a timeless time-traveler. Sometimes I want to be more than me, sometimes I don’t want to know what me means, what “I” means, what self means, what anything means. Sometimes I just wanna feel, sometimes just I wanna tell you how I feel…

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Music

Mos Def – Ms. Fat Booty (Louis Futon Remix)

What I love about hip-hop is its ability to straddle and pull from many different genres and backgrounds to create a greater message. The original track from Mos Def took samples from Aretha Franklin and formed a track that has remained a staple of hip-hop for over a decade. This remix adds in jazz and funk to bring to another place. Another level.

This past week, I was asked to be wing-woman to one of my girlfriends. Fine. The rest of the night took a turn for one of those nights you can’t make up. And shouldn’t turn down. One of the guys in our little pack of miscreants was a performer for Totem, the Cirque de Soleil show in Santa Monica and mentioned some of the other performers were at a show at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica. The night was jazz and hip-hop. We walked in to a man wearing a suit onesie that only he could have ever pulled off. He was chain smoking in the center of the stage with red and white lights rotating on him as he calming let out vocals which sounded like an angrier James Brown. It was amazing. Once your eyes adjust to the haze of the stage you start to make out a writhing human figure along the pole in the corner. His eyes rarely leave her but also not give off more than look which says “You are here to entertain me. Move.” And she did. The packed railroad style bar stood in silence. An MC was in the crowed singing among us with a mic and would sometime’s call the spotlight on him. The girl in her torn fishnets and tattered lingerie crawled along enticing us all as we watched hungrily with our whisky’s to the side filling our ears with his words and our eyes with the vision of an old chorus line dancer and dusty blues singer creating music. The show ends after a climactic parade of various dancers bending and turning in from of him, his face was never seen behind the smoke.

When the music stopped and the DJ came on to wrap up the night, I requested Gang StarrAbove the Clouds” and he laughed at me, then proceeded to put it on. A full dance took hold of the floor and the performers all came on stage. The best dance partners you can find are from Cirque, and also the best show. The night ended when we all poured in to cabs much after last call was yelled and the floor had a sticky film of spilled beer and grime from the patrons of the night.

I appreciate the musicians of today and their curiousness, their ability to join genres and sounds and create something new from something things we hold to be classic.

This duo from funky Philly has done a fantastic job at that. Tyler Minford and Logan Zoghby of Louis Futon splice the classic Mos Def track and drop in a base that punches through the vocals at the opening and then crescendo into a synth-filled heady, groove. The two will be releasing an upcoming EP, Mojitos.

Mos Def – Ms. Fat Booty (Louis Futon Remix)

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Music

Mos Def – N****s in Poorest

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place and a time for everything but I’m glad someone shed some awareness on this poison. Mos Def is nice!

No, I don’t worry.
I tell you, I am a man who believed that I died 20 years ago, and I live like a man who is dead already.
I have no fear, whatsoever, of anybody or anything.” – Malcolm X

Mos Def – N****s in Poorest

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Music

Tony Touch – What’s That? (Que Eso) (feat. Mos Def & De La Soul)

I was always traveling as a youngin’ so I didn’t exactly have a lot of free time on my hands. However, every now and then I had a month or two long pit stop in NYC that I would spend fearlessly tearing up the city in my BMX. Long story short I was reckless, cutting off cabs, bunny hopping curbs, cutting through crowds at full speed, jumping stairs, showing off for girls I never talked to, I mean looking back now I’m surprised I never broke any bones or got hit by a car or something. This has little relevance for todays post except that it reminded me of Tony Touch’s The Piece Maker, the album that was pretty much my soundtrack back in the day.

Tony Touch is a DJ from NYC who had some pretty good recognition in the 90’s Hip Hop circuits. The album as a whole is raw but the one song that stuck with me was the feature with Mos Def and De La Soul called What’s That? (Que Eso). In this classic braggadocios hip hop track all the emcees are giving thoroughly explaining why their style is so good, I love it. What’s really fresh about this song is though is how Mos Def efforlessly raps effortlessly raps in Spanish and English…

Understand that when I shine all your light is through, yall ni%*@s wack in one language son I’m nice in two…”

The beat for this track is extremely weird but the perfect canvas for lyricism, you don’t hear too many of those these days. Alright, not much else to say about this, just one of those rare but dope tracks that never made it anywhere near the mainstream or underground for that matter, enjoy.

I’m from NYC so see why in me, there’s a lot hustlin found around my chi…

Tony Touch feat. Mos Def & De La Soul – What’s That? (Que Eso?)

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Music

Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Aretha Franklin et Mos Def

Any DJs from the pre-Serato era can most likely relate to thinking in the currency of records; twenty dollars = 4 records. Since this was my mentality, throughout high school I was a regular at Music Factory in The Bronx, and somewhere around 11th grade I copped the Mos Def 12″ for “Ms. Fat Booty”, with “Mathematics” on the B-Side.  Since this vinyl was equipped with two exceptionally dope instrumentals along with acapellas for each song, it stayed alive in my practice rotation for years, ultimately becoming on of my favorite records I ever owned.  I was always fascinated with the beats in rap songs, so the first thing I would do when I opened a record was check the credits for the producer.  The B-Side was another Primo classic, and “Ms. Fat Booty” was by a new name to me at that time, Ayotollah.

Producer Ayotollah is a wizard with the samples, and although fairly unknown he has constructed classics for countless New York based MCs like Ghostaface Killah, Guru, Talib Kweli, Cormega, and another Sample Saturday post “My Life” for Styles P.  His sound is largely based on soul samples, like in this case he uses the rare Aretha Franklin single “One Step Ahead.”  He starts “Ms. Fat Booty” with the chorus section of the beat, which is constructed with the 0:53 and 1:21 part of the sample.  Without listening to the original, it would be impossible to tell that this segment was put together with two pieces because of the way they seamlessly flow together.  The verse then comes in using a loop from the 0:36 mark.  Small chops are sprinkled on top to complete the boom-bap masterpiece.  My favorite Mos Def record to date.

Aretha Franklin – One Step Ahead

Mos Def – Ms. Fat Booty

via KevinCaseyMusic