A classic will endure, no matter how many years come to pass since its initial release. For Mos Def, who delivered Black On Both Sides twenty-one years ago to this day, a fair percentage of his legacy has been built around the album. Seen by many as one of the greatest debuts of all time, Mos Def's emcee mentality remains as deadly now as it was back in 1999. So much so that hearing him trade bars with Busta Rhymes over some delightfully vintage production is enough to crack a smile on any purist's face.
Though many have come to associate Mos with his conscious themes and thought-provoking concepts, sometimes it's enough to hear him putting in work on a purely technical basis. On "Do It Now," Mos made sure to set it off with no shortage of charisma, setting off a ridiculous back-and-forth scheme with the expectedly energetic Bus-A-Bus. "Heard the rhyme, head high, what ya starin at ya sneakers, you shy now, got a lot of things on your mind now," spits Yasiin, in his opening verse. "You don't feel fly now, you hunting the exit sign down / Fuck what you heard, cause I snatch the grapevine down."
Anyone who enjoys lyrically-driven duets will find much to cherish here, so be sure to show some love to Black On Both Sides as it celebrates its twenty-first birthday.
From east, west, north, and south, I got joints for all of those
Heavy aquatic water flows keepin them on they toes
Tell them thugs that wanna be CEO's to be derobed
Fore I wear your little dumb ass out like Easter clothes