Lots of good info in this article! Spank Rock interviews Mos Def about “The Ecstatic” for Interview Magazine! Here’s a snippet-
SR: Who are the collaborations on the album?
MD: Georgia Anne Muldrow, from Los Angeles. She’s an amazing person and artist. Also, [Talib] Kweli and Slick Rick. I wanted to get Jay Electronica, Black Thought, and Dave from De la Soul, but they were telling me that “Casa Forte” was a difficult cut to rhyme to. It ended up just being my tune. I wanted to get other people on it, but everything in the universe—and I don’t want to sound esoteric—has been pushing it to be my song. For instance, Jay, Black Thought, and Dave were down to be on the track, but I had to push them. And I let it be what it is and it’s fine. I’m really proud of the song and feel blessed to have the opportunity to be the screen for that vibration, for that pass through on the world. I’m just very happy. Ego aside, it’s just like, “Wow, that just happened.” It just happened to me, and it will happen to the world.
SR: What are the main issues that you wanted to approach with this album?
MD: Life, Love, just observations. It’s not a super-defined narrative, its just raw… from a sincere place. Also, I feel like being into the beat of your own drum has become too prominent in the culture. I have no confidence issues with the impact or the quality of the music. No one in hip-hop, before this point and to this point, with all due respect, has done this. I feel like I was the only person who was capable of making this type of music in this type of way. I don’t rap like nobody, I don’t try to sound like nobody.
SR: One of the things that I picked up from you personally is that if I’m not smiling while rapping, then I’m not doing my job. I remember always seeing you in the beginning at a show in New York, and you were smiling the whole time, climbing up the walls and shit…
MD: I like to have a good time and enjoy myself. The music is uplift. African art is functional, it serves a purpose. It’s not a dormant. It’s not a means to collect the largest cheering section. It should be healing, a source a joy. Spreading positive vibrations. Coltrane, Marley, Hendrix—that mindset.
Also today’s Hot 97 radio interview with Angie Martinez :
Topics include a rap supergroup “Battle for New Orleans” soundclash that includes Mos Def with Black Thought, DOOM, NAS, Jay Electronica vs. Jay Z & whoeva – for $10 million, half to charity, half to the winners. Interesting. He also speaks on Dave Chappelle, will.i.am who played keys on “Umi Says” & the politics behind why you might not know that, and the concept of claiming the title “The Greatest.” Good listen.
UPDATE: MTV.com’s recap of the interview – I wonder if he’s peeked some event producers interest with this one! Superdome here we come! LOL