Mos Def Is The Worst Rapper of the Decade

I’ve been a fan of Mos Def since before I knew he rapped. I knew him as the quirky, young guy on Cosby Mysteries, which aired for about a heartbeat in the mid-nineties on NBC. I read, then, that he was into slam poetry and spoken word– remember when people used to say “spoken word” as if it were an actual thing? Well, following that blink of an eye, I completely forgot about Mos Def until he turned up on De La Soul’s album Stakes Is High. His voice was youthful, smart, fun… I couldn’t wait to hear more from him.

And then I did. Mos Def released Black on Both Sides toward the end of 1999. I’m sure there must have been a good song on the album, but I have no idea what it was. The yawn starts at track one and extends to track seventeen. It’s a yawn that you resent more than the second Bush term because you like Mos Def so much that you want to like his music.

Case in point: Mos Def followed his album with roles in several movies. He appeared in Carmen: A Hip Hopera, Bamboozled, Monster’s Ball, Brown Sugar and The Italian Job. Not all of these are good movies, but he’s the best part of most of them. So he spends five years building up all this credit, and then he releases The New Danger in 2004.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t given The New Danger a complete listen, but that’s because I started hearing songs from the album and was instantly reminded that Mos Def bores me like daytime programming on TLC. It featured an eclectic collection of music styles. You know what that means? That means that Mos Def was embracing diversity as a way of boring different musical audiences. Actually, that means that Mos Def was probably high and listening to, say, a blues song, thinking “Hey, I wear a hipster brim, I bet I could pull off the blues.”

I just want to shake him and yell, “Whhhhhhyyyyyyyyy? What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know we want to like you??” Apparently, it was around this time that he launched his plan for expanding his audience by having five children with four women. That’s nine people who won’t care that he’s mind-numbingly dull.

In 2006, Mos Def released an album, True Magic, with no cover art. None. Just a clear case. It also had zero promotion, which was apparently as Mos Def wished. To me, that sums up Mos Def– just sitting there, daring you not to be interested, when really there’s little to be interested in.

So here’s the argument for Mos Def as the worst rapper of the decade. It isn’t that he can’t rap. It isn’t that he isn’t smart. It’s that none of the charsima that Mos Def exudes off the microphone has ever been translated through the microphone into a memorable song, let alone a whole album. He is disappointment personified. If this decade were to be stricken from the record, not one record that he’s made would need to be stricken from your memory.

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14 Comments on “Mos Def Is The Worst Rapper of the Decade”

  1. tjones871 Says:

    Mos Def was one half of the legendary album Black Star and you are going to make an argument that he’s one of the worst rappers ever, c’mon!

    • mellifluent Says:

      Well, that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? Everyone was so hyped about Black Star back in 1998, and then what? Has anyone ever been as excited about anything he’s done since?

  2. Claire Pettie Says:

    madonna is the worst rapper in the world. I’ve read your article and as you know, I find him excrutiatingly boring, but Madonna makes me want to burn my own head in shame for white women. Her raps make me feel like I can’t get far enough from the radio for it to be okay, not even in a black hole, no escape.

  3. Sonny Ray Says:

    “Universal Magnetic” is a classic 12″ as is his appearance on the first Reflection Eternal 12″ but agreed none of his solo LP’s fall in that category…

  4. you are a fool. you have completely discredited yourself by adding mos to that list my friend. Even Camron can use the arguement that you think Mos is wack to defend himself. boss up lil nigger.

    • I don’t think Mos Def is wack. In your anger, you misunderstood. I think Mos Def has never lived up to his promise. I’m hoping his new album, about which I’ve heard good things, does that.

      • Klev Says:

        The funny thing Earnest. hehe most people just read “The worst rapper of the deccade”
        and go into a mess and write stuff that they are so G that you need to go kill your self and die slow.
        I mean these people that write all this shit to you REALY! should know that they act like fools and make other people think bad of black people

  5. Jach Says:

    I hate all rap, period. Just thinking about it gives me a headache. And don’t even get me started on “Kiss me thru the phone.” I’d rather chew my entire arm off than listen to 20 seconds of that song.

    Rappers are racist, violent, dissolute, and vile; the whole lot of them. All they care about are parties with disgusting women, smoking, drinking, sex, and shooting.

    If you ask me, rap isn’t music at all; it’s just noise.

    • Seven Says:

      u know absolutley nothing about rap yeah sure alot of rap songs have subjects relating to the list u just put on but generalizing rap like that thats what its all about is a terrible example of rap go listen theres many rap songs and artists out there that dont talk about sex drugs shooting ect matter of fact Mos Def what u can see just right on the top is exact opposite of that man u r a typical misunderstanding person about rap music man

    • Glass Says:

      Nobody asked you.

      Now suck cock you faggot.

  6. tom Says:

    i agree. noone cares about 50 cent anymore.

  7. Laura Says:

    Mase, Puff Daddy and 50 Cent are the worst. I cringe when they open their mouths. They are such lazy rappers. Smoke another one!

  8. Seven Says:

    MOS DEF AND CAMRON worst rapper of the decade? GO SALAP URSELF……and there alot of non rappers u put on here which dont really matter cuz they have lil to do with rap….

  9. This is soooo true lolol Tell em

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