Yasiin Bey and Dead Prez record a tribute to slain teen Trayvon Martin inspired by Nas’ “Made You Look” called “Made You Die” and some behind the scenes footage on what made them decide to do this Yasiin is no stranger to reworking other people’s songs. When you’re done with this download “Niggas In Poorest” a take on the Jay-Z and Kanye West collabo.
For it’s over the top materialism in a time when so many are suffering I SHUNNED Watch The Throne. So, I love that Mr. Bey has taken the beat from Niggas In Paris and put some soul to it. He discusses issues real people can relate to, poverty. For in these times you are either in poverty or it is touching your life in some way. In addition to crafting a great song, Yasiin has made a self-directed video to boot. Take a gander.
“Don’t get caught up in no throne/ These devils out here lyin/ Actin like the people ain’t dyin/ They silver and they gold/ they never saved no soul” -Yasiin Bey
The forces of Good and Evil in Hip Hop are at battle again…or maybe more accurately the forces of “Conscious” and err “Unconscious”. Here’s the thing, it’s a fight people like and one the people need. On one side of the ring we have Hip Hop/Pop juggernauts Jay-Z and Kanye West, Will Ferrell, money, conspicuous wealth and questionable values. On the other side we have Mos Def turned Yasiin Bey, Malcolm X, lyrics that reflect the financial situation people who aren’t the 1 percent are in now, and the ghost of Mos Def’s classic “What’s Beef?”
So who the fuck is Margila? Yasiin Bey may know but he doesn’t care cause he’s trying to reclaim his “Man of the People” status. Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch The Throne track “N*ggas In Paris” is actually so ridiculous a song it seems an easy target (and a device for getting Alec Baldwin in trouble when that’s the last thing he needs!), but in today’s Hip Hop climate people don’t even take shots at the easy targets anymore. Bey hit the dynamic duo in their Achilles heel: Lack of spirituality, lyrics that reflect how regular people live or their pain and political/resistance content. Hard to argue with whee Yasiin is coming from.
“Niggas In Poorest” isn’t as easy on the ear as I would like it to be and yet it’s still music to my ears. Ready for that new Black Star yet?
Maybe the Black Star documentary trailer wasn’t enough to get you all hot and bothered about a Black Star reunion, so this week Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) performed “You Already Knew” live on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. I liked this this performance and it sounded great. The single will be on Black Star’s upcoming mixtape Aretha. They also performed Oh No and there’s even bonus footage of ?uestlove explaining how producer J. Dilla worked magic on Black Star’s track “Little Brother”. Check it out. Even my Momma likes ?uestlove. Continue reading
Based on the trailer it seems like this documentary focuses on Talib Kweli but if you’re a Blackstar fan it looks like you’ll dig this one. There’s also a dazzling array of appearances by people we like like Kanye West, Mos Def turned Yasiin (of course), The Beastie Boys, Dave Chappelle, The Roots, Occupy Wall Street profiteer Jay-Z, De La Soul, Common, Hi-Tek, Jean Grae, philanthropist Pharrell Williams, Killer Mike, Fat Lip, Damon Dash, Rosario Dawson, Pete Rock, Marc Ecko, Mad Lib Bobbito, Black Sheep, Cee-Lo, and The Dungeon Family.
In light of the new film “Sing Your Song,” celebrating the life of activist and entertainment legend Harry Belafonte, Loop21.com posted a list of today’s most politically active Black celebrities.
I think it’s a pretty great list, even including Black celebs who engage in environmental activism like Aisha Tyler (although I don’t know how much I’d want to be on any list with Russell Simmons. Y’all like him though). The Mighty Mos Def turned Yasiin also makes the list and Continue reading