The Kanye hype train continues to roll on. Next month’s issue of XXL features a profile of West’s record label, GOOD Music, and a paragraph dedicated to each artist on the label’s current roster. Included alongside such names as Common, John Legend, and Kid Cudi is surprisingly West’s longtime friend and collaborator, Mos Def.
“Just as Kanye returned to his roots to scoop up Common, he recently recruited buddy Brooklyn rapper/singer/actor Mos Def into the GOOD Music fold. Long regarded as a formidable talent by underground devotees and mainstream fans alike, Mos appeared on ‘Two Words’ (from Kanye’s 2005 The College Dropout) and ‘Drunk and Hot Girls’ (from KW’s 2007 Graduation). Since his 1999 solo debut, Black on Both Sides, Mos has increasingly been pushed — whether by generational choices or self-exile — to the fringes of indie, alternative hip hop. Maybe it will take Kanye to reign him in.”
Judging by last year’s excellent effort from Mos Def, The Ecstatic, West has picked up the rapper at an optimal time to foster Mos’ creativity. Their recent “Good Fridays” collaboration, “Lord, Lord, Lord” found the two working together comfortably in new ways. Can we just please not have any awkward freestyle rap battles because of this?