Perhaps its a little optimistic to hope for a follow-up to Yaasin Bey’s (formerly Mos Def) 2009 album ‘The Ecstatic’ but at least we have some new music from the legendary Brooklyn MC to talk about. Ever since ‘Quiet Dog Bite Hard’ Bey seems to have given his solo recording career a break. He has appeared on many other artists’ work, his appearance on Robert Glasper’s ‘Black Radio’ being the one that springs most easily to mind. Of course Bey has never stopped touring; this summer he has lit up stages in Europe and he performed in Canada not too long ago.
The mere mention of the word ‘ghostwriter’ is enough to start a war. Well it did between Drake and Meek Mill. But in ‘Basquiat Ghostwriter’, Bey is paying tribute to the rebel artist Jean-Michel Basquiat while highlighting some of the same injustices. As the jazzy track unfurls itself in a chaotic spiral Yaasin spits for love, peace, truth and justice using a seemingly disjointed series of metaphors. You’ll probably need a minute to disentangle the poetic mesh of words Mos Def has woven here in his typically laid-back style. But the images flashing on the screen in negative should help send the point across. I couldn’t make sense of the video game footage though.
Miami Based, Internationally Known