As you guys all know, we here at 4080 have a bit of man-crush on the mighty Mos Def. Since that last documentary featured Diamond D, I thought I’d take you all back to the old school days. Mos, his sister Ces, and his little brother who goes by the name DCQ. Together, they formed Urban Thermo Dynamics, a pretty righteous little crew.
Those who know Mos these days would probably not even recognize him in a lot of the tracks that UTD did. Some of the same style is there, the same kind of rhythmic sing-song cuts and all. But he does some very un-Mos like things, being gritty and vulgar and fierce. As Matt Jost, who reviewed the album said:
UTD, especially Mos and his sister, seem to have taken a clue from Onyx themselves, engaging in an over-the-top angry delivery on several cuts. The most astonishing sight being Mos with “a full clip and my hand on my dick” without a hint of irony. This doesn’t seem to go well with the ‘We’re not like them’ mantra, but ultimately UTD were as much a product of their environment as anyone else. As Ces puts it: “Times is too wild to smile.”
Mos has always been able to talk about politics and other real issues, but to see his past self rhyming in such an angry fashion has to be a bit disconcerting. I guess that was the style of the times, but I have to say I’m happy to see how far Mos has come.
The album’s hard to find, and not that I encourage downloading or anything, but that may be your only option. Still, check your local stores and maybe check ebay, because this is definitely an album to own.
Check the video below for the Diamond D-produced “Manifest Destiny”, a solid track by UTD.