All Articles Tagged "mos def"
At the beginning of the new Millennium, not many people knew who the hell Kanye West was. Though he had been concocting cold beats for folks since the mid ’90s, his hopes and dreams of becoming a major producer in hip-hop and even having the chance to rap didn’t happen overnight. But fast forward to 2013, and he’s one of the biggest artists in the world. Sure, he’s a complete arse at times, but everybody has a Kanye song, or a Kanye-produced song that their iPod can’t live without (just think of the joy you felt when you discovered Bey’s “Party” for the first time…he’s a genius!), and many of the samples he’s used over the years helped bring major musicians and songs from the past back into the forefront. While you know most of his contributions to music, here are a few bangers that you might not have realized he was behind (unless you are a major hip-hop head or stan).
Rapper and actor Yasin Bey, or as you might have grown up calling him, Mos Def, volunteered to undergo Guantanamo Bay’s brutal force-feeding procedure that is conducted upon detainees who are on a hunger strike. The U.S. military reports half of Gitmo’s detainees are striking from food as a protest against their “indefinite confinement and conditions” and to shed light on the horrific way in which these individuals are being treated, Yasin Bey chose to become one of them by choice.
According to Gawker, the main purpose of Reprieve, the advocacy group who filmed Mos Def’s procedure, is to assist:
“prisoners facing the death penalty, and prisoners held beyond the rule of law in the ‘war on terror.’”
A document from Al-Jazeera exposes the inhumaneness of the force-feeding procedure that takes place at the military prison, stating:
Hunger striking Guantanamo prisoners who are force-fed a liquid nutritional supplement undergo a brutal and dehumanizing medical procedure that requires them to wear masks over their mouths while they sit shackled in a restraint chair for as long as two hours. The prisoners remain this way, with a 61cm – or longer – tube snaked through their nostril until a chest X-ray, or a test dose of water, confirms it has reached their stomach. At the end of the feeding, the prisoner is removed from the restraint chair and placed into a “dry cell” with no running water. A guard then observes the detainee for 45-60 minutes “for any indications of vomiting or attempts to induce vomiting”. If the prisoner vomits he is returned to the restraint chair.
In the video, Mos Def is strapped in a chair and a tube is then inserted into his nostrils. The excruciating pain is visible on his face and in the middle of the procedure Mos Def is seen breaking down. After the procedure, he stated:
“The first part of it is not that bad, but then you get this burning” he explains, still visibly shaken up. “Then it just starts to be really unbearable. It feels like something is going in—like something is going into my brain.”
Muslim groups such as Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have petitioned to the Obama administration to refute the force-feeding policy especially during the Islamic holiday of Ramadan. The CAIR spokesperson, Ibrahim Hooper stated:
“It’s not just a religious issue, it’s also a human rights issue in violation of international norms and medical ethics.”
U.S. Court papers rejected CAIR’s request thoroughly outlining that force-feeding procedures will not interfere with Ramadan because the act will happen “before dusk and after sunset”.
The video below of Mos Def is disturbing. Insight can be gained on the political issues that need to be addressed regarding the health, safety, and treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Although the prisoners who inhabit Gitmo have committed (or were accused) of political crimes, the inhumane treatment against them makes one question, is brutality necessary when a prisoner is already doing the time?
Some describe Brown Sugar as a game changer when it comes to black, romantic comedies. Described as the urban When Harry Met Sally, the film incorporated Hip Hop, professional black folk and a friendship turned love story that we just could help but love. You know the plot. You probably still bump the soundtrack, but we doubt you know these behind the scenes secrets.
‘I Have Been What Some People Might Call An Opponent:” Mos Def Explains Why He Hasn’t Hopped On Jay-Z’s Barclays Center Bandwagon
Über-talented rapper and actor,
Mos Def Yasiin Bey has been less than quiet regarding his apprehension about the newly constructed Barclays Center, which is conveniently located downtown Brooklyn, New York, despite his deep Brooklyn roots. The night of the stadium’s September opening, the 39-year-old wordsmith took to his pen and pad and composed a poem entitled, “On center.stadium.status.” Through the poem, he expressed the heaviness that he felt in regard to the stadium and what it could mean for the Brooklyn community. Yasiin recently sat down with Vulture Magazine and pulled no punches as he expressed his reasoning behind the poem and why it’s nothing personal against Jay. Check out what he had to say.
On why the Barclays Center concerns him:
“I was on DeKalb Avenue and Flatbush, probably two months ago, and at the intersection I saw these not-quite-so-young men, in standing traffic, trying to sell bootleg Rolling Stones T-shirts. I thought, “This is the trickle-down economic effect of Barclays in the neighborhood?” I didn’t think of it as a positive.
On his reasoning behind writing the poem:
“I have been what some people might call an opponent to the stadium. I was concerned about what the stadium’s presence in the community might do. I was concerned.”
On why he chose to express his views in poem format instead of a song:
“I didn’t want it to be misconstrued as some sort personal attack on Jay. If I can’t have an opinion, who can? So to quote Jay: “I’m bigging up my borough. I’m big enough to do it.’”
On what Barclays Center representatives can do to change his mind:
“I would love for Barclays and the NBA and whoever else to prove me wrong, by engaging in the community, not just on some [surface] level for the photo op. But to really be concerned with enriching the lives of people in that community.”
On not being a Jay-Z hater:
“I respect Jay. I have great respect for him. I’m a fan. I’m not a fan of everything [he does] but I don’t think you have to be a fan of everything that someone does to have respect for them.”
You can check out Mos Def’s poem on the next page. What do you think of his opposition?
Before these men and women were dominating our iPods and lives in general with good music, funny television and dramatic roles that brought us to tears (or made us mad), they were young’ns trying to get their big breaks on the big screen. In movies like The Wood and shows like As The World Turns, they were everywhere before they became stars. Let’s check out their beginnings…
And oh yeah, one or two are young adults…*Kanye shrug*
Christina Milian in The Wood
Before she was out in these streets singing about the freaky things you should keep on the low with Ja Rule and dipping it low and picking it up slow, Christina Milian was just a young lady with a big ‘ol head of hair, playing the dance partner of young Roland in The Wood. In her short role in the film, she gets upset by Roland and Slim’s nosy attention over Mike and Alicia finally getting to slow dance together. She eventually tells him, “Why don’t you go dance with her then!?” flips her loooong curly hair and makes a dramatic exit. Interesting, this sounds like a scene from most of Milian’s movies…I’m just saying.
Wow, how things have changed! It seems like just yesterday when it was the cool thing for men in hip-hop to wear their white T-shits down to their knees with the baggy jeans sitting below their waste and a fitted cap to match. Or in an effort to be different, come off doing the absolute most. Well, it ain’t cool anymore! Some of the industry’s hottest male celebs have completely changed their style. They went from doing the least with their ensembles to tailored suits and a fresh fade! This is not to say that they looked bad that way, but damn do they look good this way!
Have you ever dated a man who was visually appealing but once he opened his mouth you realized, so sadly, that he wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box? It’s tragic. A pretty face will take you far but if that’s all you have to offer, it gets really old, really fast. It’s always nice to have some knowledge inside a pretty face. Check out the celeb men who meet the requirement.
I guess it’s time to accept that at some point in a celebrity’s career he’s going to change his name. Dante Smith, formerly known as Mos Def, is the latest rapper to do so, now going by the name Yasiin Bey.
Last fall, Mos said he had plans to change his name to Yasiin in 2012, but neither he nor his publicist confirmed what his full name would be at the time. Now with the release of a video for his new track, “N****s in Poorest,” Yasiin Bey is debuting his new moniker to the world. He told Entertainment Weekly in September:
“Mos Def is a name that I built and cultivated through the years… I feel that I’ve done quite a bit with that name. It’s time to expand and move on.”
In moving on, Yasiin has released the “Top 40 Underdog” series which features this new song as a play off of Jay-Z and Kanye’s highly successful “N****s in Paris.” Yasiin’s track takes a more serious look at what’s really going on in society today, particularly economically, as he tells listeners “Dont Get Caught Up in No Throne.” Yasiin dropped the video on Tuesday to commemorate the 47th anniversary of Malcolm X’s death and the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
Listen here and tell us what you think about the song and Mos Def’s new name.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Surprise, surprise…celebs hook up while they work together! I mean, why not? Don’t some people at our jobs hook up on the low (or not so low, lol)? Anyway, here’s a list of a few former and current couples who have hooked up (some have never spoke on it but the rumor mill has always buzzed about it)! Who else can you think of?
For people like myself who really love music debates, the “conscious rapper” topic is one that tends to get people all riled up. More often than not, someone’s favorite rapper will get talked about in a negative light and come under fire for their actions not always living up to their words. I’ve learned to not have any real beliefs in the idea of the “conscious” rapper because when you do, you’re also going to get that human side that you only thought belongs to the “gangsta” rapper. I don’t believe many of the complaints about the “high and mighty conscious rappers” are warranted. I don’t think it’s right to expect them to ALWAYS talk about the plight of black people or to be positive every second of the day. Then again, in life you’re often forced to take sides. Anyway, enough rambling – just take a look at a few of the conscious rappers and feel free to let me know what you think (I’m also on Twitter…DrennaB).