There are not many artists in today’s Hip-Hop landscape that will ride for the cause until the wheels fall off like Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def. There was a time when social commentary and political activism was the primary objective of premier Hip-Hop artists and their associates, but during the culture’s most widely recognized creative shift acknowledged as the “Bling Era,” the artist from Brooklyn emerged with an updated formula on how to kick knowledge without dropping the new generation’s attention. In his most recent protest against global and domestic policies of excessive brutality against the people, Mos showed us once again what it means to be committed to the cause, allowing a Guantanamo Bay inspired force feeding procedure to be performed on him to shed light on the inhumane treatment of the detainees by U.S. military. In appreciation of our rapper/actor/brother in arms, The Urban Daily will highlight some of Mos Def’s most highly publicized fights against the powers that be.
5. Mumia Performance
When Mos Def was still gaining fame as a viable emcee during his Black Star days with Talib Kweli, activism was already a part of his platform as an artist. In 2000, Mos, along with Black Thought of The Roots and dead prez, put on a benefit concert called “Voice of the Voiceless” in NYC for internationally recognized political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. Held at Hunter College, the show was initiated to bring media attention to police brutality cases.