Like a jockey riding high on a thoroughbred, Mos Def harnesses Madlib’s triumphant horns to deliver a “World Premiere” for the Fuel TV’s Daily Habit audience and the listening public as a whole. From the moment he steps on stage, Mos is on point. The man’s retro cool is strong, suit-fitted up and old-time microphone firmly grasped in his right hand. He’s animated, bobbing and weaving to the beat like a boxer warming up before the bout. And, from the opening bar to the falsetto breakdown, he delivers flame to the masses like Prometheus.
The track is vintage Mos. He switches fluidly from braggadocio (“Boogeyman so fresh and free”), to dropping jewels (“Life is exact, that don’t make it fair), to commenting on the state of hip-hop (“Seven emcees in a line, when it’s not the same. So let it be what it be, they got it like they got it, but it’s not like… Bucktown”) with the greatest of ease. And, despite those seemingly-biting words, he ends with love. Shaping his words around hip-hop’s familiar refrain, Mos delivers a heartfelt message. “And forever more, rock on.” I don’t know what project this cut comes from, or when we’ll see it in MP3 form. But, for now, I’m sitting back with a broad smile on my face. Hip-hop’s always in a better place when Mos Def is in full effect.