When Mos Def takes the stage at the 92nd Street Y in February 2008, he receives one of the most enthusiastic welcomes of any guest in the history of the Jewish cultural center. In this long and enlightening interview, the critically acclaimed hip-hop artist not only speaks to music critic Anthony DeCurtis, he also freestyle raps. The discussion opens with a music video which the listening audience can obviously only hear, but the artist's lyrical power communicates even without the visuals. Mos Def begins the interview with a certain amount of reserve, but by the end his personality shines through in his intelligence, wit, social awareness, and sense of humor.
Mos Def discuss his music, his acting, his social and political perspective, and his vision of the role that artists must play in the public world. Anthony DeCurtis is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and the author of In Other Words: Artists Talk About Life and Work.