We at 4080 Records have professed our admiration for Mos Def in the past, but my respect for the Brooklyn actor/mc took a serious dip after watching him on Real Time with Bill Maher. Mos comes across as ignorant and paranoid, drawing ridiculous comparisons between American law enforcement and al-Qaeda and rejecting bin Laden’s involvement in 9/11.
Although Mos’ wit and intelligence lend humour to the interview’s opening note…
Maher: You have to admit that there are people who do want to kill Americans.
Mos Def: Yeah, some of them are called the police.
… the interview quickly descends into ludicrous conspiracy theory and baseless accusation:
Maher: But you don’t think bin Laden knocked down the World Trade Centre?
Mos Def: Absolutely not!
Mos Def: I don’t. I don’t!
Maher: That’s where you lose me. And I’m so on your side.
Mos Def: You go to any barbershop: I am so not alone. I am so not alone.
Maher: That doesn’t mean you’re right.
Mos Def: That don’t mean that it’s not valid, neither.
Actually, it does Mos. Just because people are willing to discuss them in barbershops, at work or in church doesn’t make 9/11 conspiracy theories valid. It makes them popular.
Fortunately for our boy, professor Cornel West is on hand to bring a modicum of reason to the proceedings at about the 2:23 mark.
Overall, while I agree with much of what Mos has to say (his thoughts on the root causes of terrorism at around 4:45, for example), I find it difficult respecting anyone who seriously believes the 9/11 attacks were a hoax, or an inside job, or whatever, or that we never landed on the moon:
Mos Def: I don’t believe these motherfuckers been to the moon, neither, but that’s just me.