RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Saturday, August 5

#76 RAP TAPES: Black Star

I used to love some Rawkus, and dug on the Mos Def, until a friend one night explained to me how every song he ever did was like a reworking of an old school classic, which ruined him for me. The "Fortified Live" single with Black Star and Mr. Man is still one of my favorite singles, and the second version on this tape sucks in comparison. But there's still plenty of stuff on this tape I love. "Definition" is still a song I play regularly, and when my oldest was like three, it was her favorite song, behind Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like a Bird", and it's funny hearing your own fuckin' offspring toddler toddle talk about Biggie and Tupac getting shot. Ahh... America... we are fucked. Talib is still enjoyable for me, though he suffers from whisper-rapper-syndrome, which always annoys the goddamn positivity right out of me (fuck a Bahamadamamia), but I've always sort of suspected that Mos Def was like a jazz professor's son who parlayed rap celebrity status into doing Visa commercials and co-starring alongside Bruce Willis a little too easily. Not that I fault a man for chasing his dreams, but when you use a format as a stepping stone, it sort of pisses on that stepping stone. I also think "Respiration" might be one of the last songs that Common did that I didn't automatically assume he was the gay rapper on.

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