Mos Def

Opportunity has done a lot of knocking at Mos Def's door, and he keeps answering. In addition to hosting poetry jams on HBO (and receiving an Emmy nomination for his role in the made-for-cable movie Something the Lord Made), the former Dante Smith (above) has been part of feature films such as The Italian Job and is slated to appear in next year's adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. With so many projects percolating, it's no wonder that five years have passed between his solo debut, 1999's first-rate Black on Both Sides, and its just-released successor, The New Danger. Some members of the hip-hop intelligentsia have already slagged the new disc as a blatant effort to cross over to as many niche markets as possible. This reaction is understandable given the presence of several hard-rock songs, including "Freaky Black Greetings," that sound like second-rate Body Count outtakes. But when Def bothers to exercise his skills, as he does on "Sex, Love & Money," he's still a rhymer to be reckoned with. Check him out while you've got the chance, because the odds that his schedule will have more openings in the near future are mighty slim.


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