Mos Def secured his popularity in 1998 with the famous Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star (1998), a first album which arrived like a bombshell. Its minimalist production, steely sequences and street genius flows breathe new life into hip-hop. Common, supporting our two artists, also played a leading role. The name Mos Def obviously smacked too much of the streets of Brooklyn and the rapper soon renamed himself Yasiin Bey. Dante Terrell Smith (the name he was born with), aka Pretty Flaco and Black Dante, did not want any more pseudonyms: “It turns you into merchandise!” But for the fans, Black Star and indeed Black On Both Sides, Mos Def’s major work produced in 99 by DJ Premier, both remain indelibly etched in their memories. In 2000, the rapper appeared on Canal+ surrounded by musicians. The New Yorker’s liking for brass instruments then materialised (in 2007) at the Brooklyn Academy during a concert with the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Gorillaz, Erykah Badu). The unexpected reunion of Mos Def, who is also often seen alongside pianist Robert Glasper, with Talib Kweli and this boisterous brass band (eight brass instruments and a set of drums) from Chicago is taking place at Vienne.
Blackstar Live Band : Yasiin Bey (MC), Talib Kweli (MC), Javon Chamers (DJ)
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble : Gabriel"Hudah" Hubert (tp), Saiph "Cid" Graves (tb), Amal "Body" Hubert (tp), Seba "Clef" Graves (tb), Tarik "Smoov" Graves (tp), Uttama "Rocco" Hubert (euphonium), Kevin Hunt (g), Aschim Bunch (b), Justin Swiney (dms)
Photo : © DR