Peace, Peace, Peace: Mos Def’s Greatest Joints

In a shocking turn of events last night, Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def, announced his retirement from the  entertainment industry. Bowing out of the spotlight by way of an audio recording that mostly addressed his recent legal situation in South Africa on kanyewest.com, the man many have to come to know over the years as the Mighty Mos Def  left fans all over the world in shock. His parting gift to us comes in the form of his final studio album, slated to be released later this year as stated by Flacco Bey himself. Now, as a huge fan of Mos Def myself, I’m dedicating this space to a few of my favorite joints from one of Brooklyn’s most potent wordsmiths to ever bless a mic. This was tough to do, given the confines, parameters and wealth of quality in the man’s musical catalog, but I can only interpret this as a measure of how important Dante Terrell Smith was to hip-hop.


Common & Mos Def – The Questions


Favorite line: “Why do I need ID to get ID? If I had ID, I wouldn’t need ID.”

 

Reflection Eternal ft. Jay Electronica, J. Cole & Mos Def – Just Begun


Favorite line: “And mansions on the fault line of a shaky market. The devil at the dancehall thirsty for a partner.”

 

The Roots ft. Mos Def – Double Trouble


Favorite Line: “I’m nicer than your writtens even when I’m improvised. Step into my zone, get flown like fly, by the bboy Lazarus who just won’t die.”

 

Medina Green ft. Mos Def – Crosstown Beef


Favorite Line: “I was rockin’ jew-els and my wears was crisp.”

 

Mos Def – Climb


Favorite Line: “Nighttime is when the things get heavy. You feel alone and you want somebody. Loneliness whispers desperate measures. And you’re frantic all by yourself.”

 

Mos Def ft. Q-Tip & Tash – Body Rock


Favorite line: “Let me take a sec to review what I wrote…’Mos Def and does it sound far fetched?’ OK it’s dope!”

 

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


Favorite line: “Y’all niggas wack in one language, son I’m nice in two. Fuck is you?”

 

DJ Honda ft. Mos Def – Travelin’ Man


Favorite line: “Scenarios like this is tear jerkers for the modern MC, i.e. the blue collar worker. ‘Cause this thing called rhyming no different from coal mining. We both on assignment to unearth the diamond.”

 

Mos Def – Universal Magnetic


Favorite line: “Recognize all area crew, whether you speak Japanese or Goonie Goo-Goo. Son when I come through, other rappers boo-hoo. ‘Cause they know they style’s soft like baby doo-doo.”

 

Black Star – Brown Skin Lady


Favorite line: “Yo check her she the nectar the bee get close to.”

 

Hi-Tek w/ Mos Def & Vinia Mojica – Get Ta Steppin’


Favorite line: “But you ain’t got to say a thang. I already know why you came.”

 

Mos Def & The Isley Brothers – Beauty in the Dark


Favorite line: “My name Black Dante, I cannot resist when you pass my way. Your name Beauty In The Dark, I’m staring through the fog trying to find where you are.”

 

Mos Def – Hip Hop


Favorite Line: “Speech is my hammer, bang the world into shape, now let it fall!”

 

Mos Def – The Panties


Favorite line: “Don’t wanna be nowhere but here. Nowhere in this atmosphere, stratosphere, ionosphere. Ain’t no sphere that’s bright like here.”

 

Mos Def – Sunshine


Favorite line: “I’m the shot clock, way above the game.”

 

Mos Def – Mathematics


Favorite line: “It’s a numbers game, but shit don’t add up somehow. Like I got, 16 to 32 bars to rock it. But only 15% of profits ever see my pockets. Like 69 billion in the last 20 years, spent on national defense but folks still live in fear.”

 

Mos Def ft. Georgia Anne Muldrow – Roses


Favorite line: “Love, hard work and it’s worth every minute.”

 

Mos Def – Quiet Dog


Favorite line: “Walls, tremblin’, the air, simmering. She movin’ like more than her ears are listenin’, whoa now.”

 

Black Star – Definition


Favorite line: “After this you be pressing rewind on top your master disk. Shining like an astersik for all those that be gathering. Connecting like a roundhouse from the townhouse to the tenements. ‘Cause all my Brooklyn residents known as heavy regiments.”

 

Mos Def – Umi Says


Favorite line: “Put my heart and soul into this song. I hope you feel me from where I am, to wherever you are. I mean that sincerely.”

 

Black Star ft. Common – Respiration


Favorite line: “So much on my mind that I can’t recline. Blastin’ holes in the night ’til she bled sunshine.”

 

Mos Def – Ms. Fat Booty


Favorite line: “I seen her on the ave, spotted her more than once. Ass so fat that you could see it from the front.”

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Richard "Reach" Guinto

Reach loves the Lakers, breakfast, the sound of a Fender Rhodes, and rapping along word for word to Wu Tang's "Triumph." If you're looking for him, he's probably out getting chicken.

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