As one of Hip Hop’s more innovative lyricists, it would be safe to think that Brooklyn rapper Mos Def has a wide variety of musical influences. In a recent video conversation, Mos revealed to Frolab that DOOM (formerly MF DOOM) is one of these artists, as well as gives his stance on a DOOM/Lil Wayne battle, the significance of Madvillainy, and why DOOM’s music is similar to De La Soul.
Reciting the chorus from “Rapp Snitch Knishes,” Mos Def went into full-on fan mode, rhyming, “Rap snitches, telling all they business / sitting in court, and be their own star witness / do you see the perpetrator, yeah I’m right here.” Amazed by the lyrical prowess of DOOM, Mos pleaded, “This song needs to be out, and it needs to be a hit.”
Continuing to recite lyrics off MM..Food [click to read], most notably “Rap Beef,” Mos Def confidently remarked, “I’d bet a million dollars on DOOM against Lil Wayne.”
“He rhymes as weird as I feel,” Mos said. “When I saw that Madvillain record [click to read], I bought it on vinyl, and I didn’t even have a record player. I bought it just to stare at the album. I stared at it and I just kept going, ‘I understand it.’ Cause you know I was a teenager growing up listening to [John Coltrane’s] Love Supreme and [Miles Davis’] Bitches Brew and [Charles Mingus’] The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, but I was also rhyming.”
Continuing the musical comparisons, Mos Def explained how he finds DOOM’s approach to rapping as a more rugged version of De La Soul. “The closet that anyone came to abstract in that way or just that wild energy and raw shit was De La [Soul], but they’re very neat…They’re on some Steely Dan shit; their shit is really thought out.” Proving his point, Mos ended with a few bars from DOOM’s “Kookies” that deserves repeating. “Supposed to be checking emails, only get messages from ass-naked females…they on the Internet with their curls out / and they got a better sales pitch than the girl scouts.”
Mos Def’s long-awaited album The Estatic is expected for release this summer on Downtown Records, while DOOM’s Born Like This [click to read] is available now on Lex Records.