Mos Def – “Brooklyn” [1999]

Mos Def  is an American actor and hip hop recording artist from Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He started his hip hop career in a group called Urban Thermo Dynamics, after which he appeared on albums by Da Bush Babees and De La Soul. With Talib Kweli, he formed the duo Black Star, which released the album Black Star in 1998. He was a major force in late 1990s underground hip hop while with Rawkus Records. As a solo artist he has released the albums Black on Both Sides in 1999, The New Danger in 2004, True Magic in 2006, and The Ecstatic in 2009.

Although he was initially recognized for his musical output, since the early 2000s, Mos Def’s screen work has established him as one of only a handful of rappers who has garnered critical acclaim for his acting work. He is well known for his parts in films Something the Lord MadeNext Day AirThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyBe Kind RewindThe Italian Job, and his portrayal of Brother Sam in the American drama series Dexter. Mos Def has also been active in several social and political causes.

Black on Both Sides is the debut solo album of American rapper Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey, released October 12, 1999 on Rawkus Records. Prior to the album’s recording, Mos Def had collaborated with rapper Talib Kweli for the duo’s studio album, Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star (1998), which raised high expectations for a solo effort. Black on Both Sides features an emphasis on live instrumentation and socially conscious lyrics. On February 2, 2000, the album was certified Gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), following sales in excess of 500,000 copies.




No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. “Fear Not of Man” Mos Def 4:28
2. “Hip Hop” Diamond D, Mos Def* 3:16
3. “Love” 88-Keys 4:23
4. “Ms. Fat Booty” Ayatollah 3:43
5. “Speed Law” 88-Keys 4:16
6. “Do It Now” (featuring Busta Rhymes) Mr. Khaliyl 3:49
7. “Got” Ali Shaheed Muhammad 3:27
8. “Umi Says” Mos Def, David Kennedy 5:10
9. “New World Water” Psycho Les 3:11
10. “Rock n Roll” Psycho Les, Mos Def* 5:02
11. “Know That” (featuring Talib Kweli) Ayatollah 4:03
12. “Climb” (featuring Vinia Mojica) DJ Etch-A-Sketch, Mos Def*, Weldon Irvine* 4:02
13. “Brooklyn” Ge-ology, Mos Def, David Kennedy 5:09
14. “Habitat” DJ Etch-A-Sketch 4:39
15. “Mr. Nigga” (featuring Q-Tip) D-Prosper, Mos Def* 5:12
16. “Mathematics” DJ Premier 4:06
17. “May–December” 88-Keys, Mos Def 3:29
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